Mom who smothered crying toddler gets 20 years in prison; defense says she was overwhelmed

A Cincinnati woman who smothered her toddler daughter with a pillow after she wouldn't stop crying has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

A court official says 25-year-old Janishcia Cottingham pleaded guilty Wednesday in a Hamilton County court to manslaughter, felonious assault and child endangering charges in her daughter Robin's 2013 death.

Cottingham said in court that she loved her daughter Her jail slippers had "Robin" written on them.

She had originally been charged with aggravated murder.

The Cincinnati Enquirer ( reports defense attorney William Welsh says the child was sick that day and kept crying. He says Cottingham was a single, unemployed mother and "got overwhelmed."

A prosecutor says a factor in the plea deal was Cottingham's prior mental health issues, which would have been introduced at trial.


Information from: The Cincinnati Enquirer,