On Wednesday, a young Brooklyn woman pleaded guilty to manslaughter for smothering her newborn son to death and then carrying his body around in a bag while shopping in 2013. Tiona Rodriguez, 21, told prosecutors that after she gave birth to the child at a friend's, she killed him, the New York Daily News reported. She was only 17 at the time.
Rodriguez’s confession was part of a plea deal for reduced jail time. Now she faces 16 years, while she originally faced life behind bars.
“You admit the baby was born alive?” Judge Farber asked Rodriguez in court.
She softly said, “Yes.”
According to the New York Post, she hung her head during her whole appearance in court.
In 2013, Rodriguez was arrested at Victoria’s Secret by a security guard who at first suspected she was shoplifting. According to Pix11, when the guard searched Rodriguez's bag, he noticed a foul smell and saw the tiny body of a newborn baby. A medical examiner said the baby died of homicidal asphyxiation.
“Tiona Rodriguez deliberately and intentionally killed her defenseless newborn child,” District Attorney Vance said this week, according to PIX11. “While today’s plea cannot bring back the life that was so abruptly ended, it is a just end to this tragedy.”
After killing the baby, Rodriguez reportedly sent a text expressing that she wanted to “take this s*** and dig a hole, put it somewhere, lol, then we go eat IHOP.”
Shockingly, this wasn’t the first newborn of Rodriquez’s that died. A year before this incident, she gave birth to a baby in her bathtub. That child died, and the reason is unclear. After the baby died, she texted her boyfriend at the time, stating, “It’s dead.”
She had a third child, who lived, at age 14, reported Pix11.