ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) — An eastern Pennsylvania judge has rejected a woman's plea agreement after she denied having beaten her 15-month-old son before his death a year ago.
The (Easton) Express-Times (http://bit.ly/1g4aOBz ) reports that 35-year-old Essence James of Allentown is now scheduled for trial later this month in the March 2013 death of Cordero James.
James was scheduled to plead guilty Monday in Lehigh County Court to third-degree murder in exchange for a 15-year minimum term.
But when she was asked by Judge Maria Dantos whether she had beaten the child, she hesitated and finally said "No, I did not."
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.
Information from: The (Easton, Pa.) Express-Times, http://www.lehighvalleylive.com