Woman pleads guilty to trying to smother son
A West Virginia mother accused of trying to smother her infant son at Children's Hospital in Lawrenceville pleaded guilty on Monday, the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office said.
Rachel Nelson, 23, of Costa, W.Va., was scheduled for trial before Common Pleas Judge Anthony M. Mariani. She pleaded guilty to three counts, including aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of children and recklessly endangering another person, said Mike Manko, district attorney's spokesman.
Sentencing is set for Sept. 5. Nelson faces up to 20 years in prison.
Prosecutors alleged that Nelson tried twice in October to suffocate her then 4-month-old son while he was a patient at UPMC Children's Hospital. Nelson first told police she “blacked out” during the incidents, but later admitted she held the boy against her chest, squeezing tighter when he struggled to breathe, according to court documents.
Doctors in West Virginia transferred the boy to Children's Hospital because the child's parents took him six times to a hospital in Charleston for treatment, according to police.
Nelson went to Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Oakland for an evaluation before police arrested her.
Investigators believe Nelson tried to suffocate her son as many as 15 times. Manko said a West Virginia grand jury is investigating the matter.
Justin Marlowe, an assistant prosecutor in Boone County, W.Va., said prosecutors in West Virginia were waiting for the outcome in Allegheny County before proceeding.
He would not comment on possible charges against Nelson.
The boy lives with his father in West Virginia, Manko said.
The boy's father, who wasn't identified, was not charged. He could not be reached for comment.
Aaron Aupperlee is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7986 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates lose on late Cardinals rally
- Steelers notebook: Polamalu made 1st-time captain; Roethlisberger named for offense
- Steelers formalize practice squad
- Detained Americans plead U.S. for assistance
- President’s Labor Day appearance heavy on politicking
- Unlike years past, strength of 2014 Steelers could be offense
- Steelers receiver Heyward-Bey looks to make most of chance
- Pressure on European Central Bank grows as economic recovery founders
- Democratic gubernatorial nominee in spotlight at Labor Day Parade
- Tuesday’s scouting report: Pirates at Cardinals
- Pirates notebook: Sanchez returns to Bucs in offensive slump