AN ALABAMA mom will spend the rest of her life behind bars after being convicted of murdering her four-year-old daughter.
Stephanie Diane Smith, 29, was charged with murder after confessing to smothering her daughter Zadie Wren Cooper and killing her four years ago in Athens.
Zadie died on July 7, 2016 – three days after Smith called 911 to report that her daughter wasn't breathing, according to WJAX.
Officials in Alabama told WJAX in 2017 that Smith initially told cops she heard a noise on the baby monitor July 4, and found a lifeless Zadie wedged between her bed and the wall.
The little girl was on life support for three days until doctors determined she was brain dead, prompting her family to end life support.
“She went into Zadie’s room, put a pillow over her head; her face – she was sleeping on her back – and smothered the child,” Athens Police Chief Floyd Johnson told WJAX.
“A short time later, she realized what was going on; she removed the pillow. Zadie was not breathing, and she called 911.”
An autopsy was unable to determine the cause of death.
Smith further denied any rumors of her involvement through blog posts on a website called "Living Without Z: A Journey Through Grief."
In 2017, Smith wrote, "What happened to Z was a freak occurrence. So freaky, people actually accused ME of killing her. Yes, you read that right. That's how desperate we are for answers. I get no closure. Her death remains a mystery. And I couldn't have predicted it or prevented it, just like I couldn't save her."
That same year, Smith confessed to police that she killed her daughter.
She also told authorities that she had a mental condition and stopped taking her medication before she killed Zadie.
Her trial had originally been set for earlier this year but was delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Smith has the possibility for parole during her life sentence.
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