A 22-year-old Ohio woman, Deasia Watkins was sentenced this week to 15 years to life in prison after admitting before a Hamilton County, Ohio, judge on Thursday, that she decapitated her 3-month-old daughter. Watkins pleaded guilty to one count of murder in the 2015 death of her 3 month old infant daughter, Jayniah.
Watkins fractured the girl’s arm before stabbing her repeatedly and then beheaded the poor child in March 2015, court records show. The child had reportedly been placed with Watkins’ aunt due to her erratic behavior previously.
Prosecutors said Watkins killed her child, Jayniah, in her aunt’s home, while her aunt was asleep, and then put the knife in Jayniah’s hand.
“She later told police she did that so people would think the child did it to herself – not her,”
Hamilton County Assistant Prosecutor David Prem said in court. Watkins’ plea this week comes after she had rejected an earlier deal. For more than a year, she had been mounting an insanity defense: Court documents show that Watkins had been diagnosed with postpartum psychosis, for which she is still receiving treatment.
Watkins addressed the court at her hearing Thursday, expressing remorse for her crime. She said:
“I love my daughter very much,” she said, according to a prosecution source.
“I loved her,” she said, “regardless of what anybody says.”
The county coroner in 2015 described Jayniah’s death as:
“It was pretty horrific”. “These are images that will be indelibly marked in my memory.”
Court officials say Watkins could be released from custody when she’s 35, given she’s received credit for time already served.