Daily Mail reports:
An Ohio mother charged with stabbing and decapitating her baby daughter has turned down a plea deal ahead of her upcoming murder trial.
Deasia Watkins, 21, previously pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in the March 2015 death of three-month-old Jayniah Watkins.
If Watkins is found not guilty by reason of insanity, she’d be under the court’s jurisdiction for life without parole.
On Monday, Watkins rejected the Hamiltion County prosecutor’s plea deal. She is pursuing an insanity defense and wants to stand trial.
Watkins is due back in court in January, reported the station WCPO. If convicted of aggravated murder, the 21-year-old woman could face a sentence of 15 years to life in prison.
Court records show Watkins was diagnosed with post-partum psychosis and had been prescribed anti-psychotic medication.
Prosecutor Joe Deters has said Watkins looked ‘like a zombie’ when she was hospitalized in the days after her arrest.
Watkins was ordered to a psychiatric center for treatment and evaluation in April after being charged with slaying her daughter.
While originally found incompetent to stand trial by a Hamilton County, Ohio judge, court documents show that in September, the judge ruled that Watkins was competent to face the charges.
Police responding to a 911 call in March found Watkins’ daughter beheaded on the kitchen counter in the College Hill home of an aunt who was temporarily caring for her.
The baby girl had been repeatedly stabbed in the head and face, and had suffered a fractured arm. The knife used to kill her had also been placed in her hands.
When asked how many stab wounds the infant suffered, Hamilton County Coroner Lakshmi Sammarco said she had ‘lost count.’
Watkins was found in her bed, covered in blood, and appeared to be suffering from mental issues, authorities said.
The horrific killing came after Watkins had been forbidden to have contact with the child after she was hospitalized for psychiatric problems.
She was considered a threat and had been ‘acting crazy’ and talking about demons and ‘speaking in tongues’ when a juvenile court judge previously placed the baby in the custody of Hamilton County Job and Family Services.
Social workers later placed the baby in the aunt’s care, warning her to keep the mother away from the child unless social workers were present, authorities said.
Prosecutors said the county welfare agency followed court orders in finding a relative to care for the baby and checking on her numerous time, but they said social workers didn’t know the mother apparently moved into the aunt’s home about a week before the slaying.
Authorities haven’t released the name of the aunt, who Deters said may be needed as a witness.
Court documents also show that Watkins was diagnosed with postpartum psychosis, and doctors declared her unsafe around the child unless she took prescribed medication.
After she was taken into custody, she was taken to hospital for evaluation and Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters said that she was not talking to authorities.
‘She’s like a zombie,’ he told WCPO. ‘We’re hoping to get her some medication so she can begin talking. ‘Until she gets in front of some doctors and talks, it’s going to be very difficult to know what her motivation was. No matter what the motivation was, no one is going to be able to explain this.’
Prosecutors have already said they won’t seek the death penalty.