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Allentown woman admits she beat her toddler to death

After first denying involvement, an Allentown, Pa. woman admitted yesterday that she beat her 15-month-old son to death.

danbury child abuse Credit: Metro Photo Archive

After first denying involvement, an Allentown, Pa. woman admitted yesterday that she beat her 15-month-old son to death.

The Easton Express-Times reported Friday that Essence James previously denied beating Cordero Zion Ziaire Jamesat a plea bargain earlier this year. But on Thursday, a week before her trial was set to begin, she admitted to killingher baby.

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James beat her baby on March 8, 2013 inside her bathroom, dropped him into bed with her boyfriend who was high on marijuana at the time, and left. Her boyfriend, Michael James, awoke to the baby's gasps for air and called 9-1-1.

With her confession, James hopes to accept the deal that was originally on the table: plead guilty to third-degree murder and wave her appeal rights in exchange for a minimum 15-year prison sentence, the newspaper reported.

James, who currently sits in Lehigh County Prison, faces a 40-year prison sentence. Her sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 11.

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