CINCINNATI (AP) — A woman accused of decapitating her 3-month-old daughter with a chef’s knife was indicted Wednesday on a charge of aggravated murder.
Twenty-year-old Deasia Watkins’ arraignment is scheduled for Thursday. Her defense attorney, Michael Joseph Trapp, said the grand jury indictment was expected, and he had no further comment.
Watkins was arrested last week after her daughter was found decapitated on a kitchen counter in the Cincinnati home of an aunt who was caring for her. In a 911 call, the aunt can be heard crying hysterically and asking for help while repeating, “Oh, my God!”
“My niece killed her baby,” she says.
The baby, Jayniah Watkins, had been stabbed multiple times with a large chef’s knife, authorities said. She also had a fractured arm, and the knife had been placed in her hand, they said.
“These are images that will be indelibly marked in my memory,” county coroner Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco said last week.
Watkins appeared to be suffering from serious mental issues when police found her covered in blood in a bed at the aunt’s home, authorities said. Prosecutors said they wouldn’t seek the death penalty for her.
The baby’s father, James Brown, said Watkins had been “acting crazy lately, speaking of demons,” court documents say.
Watkins was diagnosed with postpartum psychosis, and doctors had declared her unsafe around the baby unless she took prescribed medication, the documents say. Social workers had placed the baby in the temporary care of the aunt, who authorities say was warned to keep Watkins away from the baby unless social workers were present.
Prosecutors said the county welfare agency followed court orders in finding a relative to care for the baby and checking on her numerous times. But they said social workers didn’t know the mother apparently moved into the aunt’s home about a week before the slaying.
Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters was shocked by the violence in the home.
“This is one of the most disturbing cases I have ever seen in my life,” he said.
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