A 26-year-old mother, Jessica Lynn Howell has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for encouraging her boyfriend to sexually assault her 4-month-old daughter in an attack that later killed the child.
During the December 2012 assault, the baby was beaten and strangled, apparently to quiet her crying, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Jessica pleaded guilty Friday to felony abuse of a child and felony murder. Felony murder means that Howell is responsible for the baby’s death because the girl died during the commission of a felony child abuse; a crime that Howell had encouraged, authorities said.
St. Louis dispatch reports the court events thus; before Circuit Judge Dan Pelikan handed down the sentence, he asked Howell if she wished to make a statement.
She shook her head no to which Pelikan responded: “You’re not sorry? Don’t you have any remorse? Don’t you wish you had your baby back in your arms?”
Through tears, Howell said: “My actions were foolish. I didn’t understand the weight of my actions.”