PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – After being accused of trying to smother her infant son on 15 occasions including once at Pittsburgh’s Children’s Hospital, Rachel Nelson pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of a child and aggravated assault.

The young woman from Boone County, W. Va., was arrested after police said she tried to suffocate her baby against her chest while he was being treated at Children’s Hospital in October of 2012.

During the sentencing hearing in Judge Anthony Mariani’s court room, Nelson’s defense attorney asked for no prison time. Instead they requested extensive mental health treatment after citing Nelson’s long history of emotional and behavioral disabilities.

Allegheny County district attorneys asked for 22 to 36 months saying Nelson was a threat to the public.

Nelson chose not to speak except to understand she was pleading to the charges in front of the court.

Judge Mariani sentenced nelson to nine to 22 months in jail with five years of probation and no contact with any minor children.

During testimony, it was learned that despite what happened to him, Nelson’s child appears to have suffered no ill effects. He’s presently in the custody of his father in West Virginia.

Nelson still faces multiple charges for similar alleged abuse in the state of West Virginia.


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