Danielle Elizabeth Downing, 29, of Farmersville was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the death of her newborn child, who was found in a trash can, according to the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office.
Last month, one week before her trial was to start, Downing pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter, felony child abuse, using a deadly weapon and inflicting great bodily injury on a child under 5. She waived credits for time in jail since her arrest in March 2012.
Downing was arrested after admitting that the child was born alive and she used the umbilical cord and plastic bags to strangle and suffocate the baby, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
On Oct. 11, 2011, Farmersville police were called to a home on a report of a dead newborn in a trash can.
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Downing denied giving birth or being pregnant, but later admitted that the child was hers, authorities said.
She told investigators that the child was stillborn, authorities said. But the umbilical cord was wrapped three times around the infant’s neck and there were other injuries consistent with a live birth, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Downing originally pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, but withdrew the plea last month.