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A Florida mother who initially blamed a stranger for the abduction of her son has now pleaded guilty to killing him.
Charisse Stinson, 23, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to second-degree murder for the 2018 killing of her son Jordan Belliveau, 2, local outlet Fox13 reports. She initially faced first-degree murder charges for his death. She also pleaded guilty to filing a false report.
In exchange for the plea deal, Stinson was sentenced to 50 years in prison.
The mother had reported Belliveau missing in 2018, claiming that a man with gold teeth and dreadlocks stole her baby, according to a Largo Police Department press release. She made up that she had accepted a ride from this man, who then hit her so hard that she was knocked unconscious. She then claimed she woke up in the middle of the night in a park without her son.
In reality though, it was Belliveau who was hit over the head — and Stinson was the attacker. Stinson allegedly struck her son in the face with the back of her hand "in a moment of frustration,” according to an affidavit, obtained by to WFTS in Tampa Bay. That strike “caused the back of his head to strike an interior wall of her home. After the blow to the head, the victim suffered seizures during the night, which [led] to further decline [in his health], resulting in his death."
Instead of seeking medical attention for her son, she hid his body in a wooded area. The boy died of blunt force trauma.
Stinson stated before the courtroom on Tuesday that she’s now a better person.
“For a while, I was so angry and bitter before I came to jail," she said, according to the Tampa Bay Times. “And now I’m free, mentally. I may not be free physically. But I want my mom to know that I am free mentally. I am not in bondage anymore, and that is the gift that God has given me.”
She also thanked her son for this freedom, according to Fox13.
Both Stinson and her son grew up partially in the child welfare system. Belliveau was with foster parents until three months before his death.
Stinston apologized to Belliveau’s father and his family during the Tuesday hearing. Jordan Belliveau Sr., the child’s dad, was not present but he has made it clear he thinks the punishment is too light.
“I’m not nobody’s creator,” he told Tampa Bay Times. “I can’t say when somebody dies. But that’s what I would’ve liked.”
Meanwhile, Fezjia Brown — who worked at a group home where Stinson once lived — questioned if the sentence was too long. She believes Stinson struggles with mental health issues and is a victim of systemic issues.
“She took her own baby’s life,” Brown told the Tampa Bay Times. “But hers was taken a long time ago.”
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