Latisha L. Breckenridge pleads guilty in niece's 2008 death

PHOENIX - A Mesa woman has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the 2008 death of her 3-year-old niece.

Maricopa County prosecutors say 34-year-old Latisha L. Breckenridge entered her plea Thursday. She's scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 24.

Breckenridge was arrested by Mesa police in April 2008 on suspicion of second-degree murder and child abuse in the death of Juliana Ruiz.

Police say Breckenridge originally told investigators the girl fell off a recliner and stopped breathing on March 19, 2008.

The girl was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

The county Medical Examiner's Office say an autopsy showed the child's death wasn't caused by the fall described by Breckenridge.

Police interviewed Breckenridge again and say she admitted to getting angry with the girl and grabbing, pushing and tossing her.

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