Chattanooga mother pleads guilty to child abuse

Chattanooga mother pleads guilty to child abuse (Image 1)
Chattanooga mother pleads guilty to child abuse (Image 1)

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) – A Chattanooga mother has pleaded guilty to child abuse in the 2006 death of her daughter.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports Traci Carpenter entered the plea Wednesday in Hamilton County Criminal Court in the death of 18-month-old Sierra Carpenter. She faces a two- to four-year sentence.

She was facing a charge of aggravated child neglect, which was dropped as part of the plea agreement.

A sentencing hearing was set for May 19. Prosecutors will argue for jail time while defense attorneys will argue for probation.

Sierra died of respiratory problems and blunt-force trauma to the head. A medical examiner's report detailed signs of ongoing abuse, including bleeding on the brain.

Carpenter's former boyfriend, Brian Rutherford, was acquitted of charges in the child's death in 2008.

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