A Brooklyn mother was convicted of first-degree manslaughter for drowning her 2-year-old daughter in a storage bin after the child wet her pants while being punished.
Lin Li, 27, of was found guilty in the 2016 drowning death of her daughter, Melody Zheng, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office announced on Tuesday.
“The defendant put the victim in a container and held her under water until she stopped struggling. She later called 911,” the statement reads.
Apparently, Li also abused her son in a similar manner shortly before Melody's death.
“She was also convicted of attempted assault for holding her 4-year-old son’s head under water a day earlier,” according to the DA’s office.
She now faces up to 25 years in prison on the manslaughter charge and an additional 15 years in prison on the attempted assault charge. She is due to be sentenced on June 24.
The fatal tragedy happened on the evening of March 13, 2016 after Li punished her daughter for urinating herself during a separate punishment.
She had disciplined Melody by forcing her to stand while facing a wall for several hours, a 2016 New York Post report indicates. After the toddler peed herself, the mother brought her into the bathroom for further punishment.
“She placed Melody inside a storage container in the tub and filled it with water,” according to the DA’s office. “The defendant then submerged the child’s head under the water until she stopped struggling, according to evidence brought out at trial. She submerged her son under water a day earlier.”
Melody’s father tried to resuscitate her but was unsuccessful, according to the New York Post report.
The little girl was found unconscious and unresponsive when first responders arrived and was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. A medical examiner determined that the child had injuries consistent with her being held underwater.
“Melody was a defenseless child who depended on her mother to protect her,” District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said. “It is extremely sad and inexplicable that she lost her life at the hands of the person who should have kept her safe. Nothing will bring Melody back, but with this verdict we make clear that we will bring to justice those who harm our children.”
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