A mentally ill woman from Ohio, USA, who was charged with stabbing and decapitating her 3-month-old daughter, pleaded guilty to murder Thursday, NY Daily News reports.
The woman, Deasia Watkins, 22, pleaded guilty in the gruesome March 2015 death of her daughter Jayniah Watkins and was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.
“I loved my daughter very much,” Watkins told a Hamilton County judge, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I loved her, regardless of what anybody says.”
Court records show Watkins was diagnosed with postpartum depression and her defense attorneys say she was taking medication for her condition.
Social workers with the Hamilton County Job and Family Services concluded the young mother posed a danger to her daughter because of her mental state, court records show.
Authorities found the decapitated baby girl on the kitchen counter in the home of an aunt who was her temporary caregiver.
Watkins stabbed her daughter at least 15 times with a large kitchen knife before severing her head, prosecutors said.
She then placed the knife in her daughter’s hand to make believe the baby did it, Hamilton County Assistant Prosecutor David Prem said in court, according to the Enquirer.
Watkins was found lying in a bed pretending to sleep and covered in blood, prosecutors said.
She was “acting crazy” and talking about demons before the slaying, family members recalled.
Social workers placed little Jayniah in her aunt’s care, and authorities warned her to keep Watkins away from the infant, but she managed to move into the home regardless, prosecutors said.
“Nothing good came out of this case,” defense attorney Perry Ancona said, according to WLWT-TV.
“It was very gruesome. It’s a very emotional situation, emotional for the family that was here, emotional for her. It’s just devastating.”