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The mother of a 5-year-old Colorado girl who died from meth poisoning in 2019 has pleaded guilty to murder.
Stephanie Alvarado, 27, of Rifle, Colorado took a plea deal on Thursday morning, admitting to both murder in the second degree and criminal trespass involving domestic violence, local outlet KDVR reported. She initially faced a first-degree murder charge.
Alvarado’s daughter Sophia Larson died while at her mother's home in December of 2019 after drinking from a water bottle that had been laced with methamphetamine, the Aspen Daily News reported earlier this year.
Alvarado’s two cousins, 27-year-old Daniel Alvarado and 28-year-old Bertha Ceballos-Ramo, have also been arrested and charged with child abuse resulting in death. While the case against Daniel Alvarado is still pending, Ceballos-Roma was found to be living in the United States illegally and was deported to Mexico in October.
The three were allegedly taking drugs when the child got a hold of the water bottle. Authorities believe that the bottle was being used as a methamphetamine bong, according to CBS Denver. Even though Sophia started seeing “monsters and demons” and was seeing double, her mom didn't want to take her to the hospital right away because she didn’t want to “lose her in the system," according to an arrest affidavit obtained by the outlet.
Sophia died from cardiac arrest, local outlet KKCO reported.
Stephanie Alvarado faces between 16 to 48 years for the murder plea and up to six years for the domestic violence charge. She is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 29.
Alec Larson, the girl’s father, was present in the court on Thursday.
“I don’t know how to explain the amount that I miss her, you know. It’s not something that I really have the words for,” he told KDVR. Larson said that Alvarado was a good mother until she began using drugs.
“I was genuinely concerned about Steph in the beginning,” he said. “I didn’t think we were going to bury my daughter. I thought we were going to bury her mom and it just took a turn for the worst.”
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