The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

State News

March 21, 2014

Woman pleads in death of 15-month-old son

ALLENTOWN — An eastern Pennsylvania woman will be sentenced next month after pleading guilty in the beating death of her 15-month-old son a year ago.

Thirty-five-year-old Essence James of Allentown was scheduled for trial in Lehigh County Court in the March 2013 death of Cordero James.

She pleaded guilty Thursday to third-degree murder under a plea agreement under which prosecutors will recommend a 15-year minimum term.

James tried to enter the plea last week, but Judge Maria Dantos rejected the plea after the defendant denied having beaten the child.

Prosecutors said James' boyfriend told police that he saw her take the boy into the bathroom and heard her beating him, and he later heard the baby gasping for air.

James is scheduled for sentencing April 11.


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What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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