Mother charged with killing girl, 5, in push down stairs

PARKESBURG, PA - A Pennsylvania mother has been charged with killing her 5-year-old daughter by pushing her down a set of stairs onto a concrete landing on Halloween.    

Ciara Robinson, a 25-year-old home health aide, faces charges including third-degree murder, manslaughter, aggravated assault and child endangerment, prosecutors in Chester County said Monday.

Police and emergency responders were called just before 9:30 p.m. Wednesday to the Parkesburg home, where officials said 5-year-old Amatulah "Amy" McLaughlin had been dead "for some time."    

Prosecutors allege Robinson became angry and struck McLaughlin, then pushed her down the 8- or 9-foot basement stairs, where the girl hit her head on the concrete landing.    

A friend reported the defendant had called her in a panic at about 8:45 p.m. Wednesday and said, "I knocked Amy out. ... I'm going to jail. ... She won't wake up," authorities said in a criminal complaint.    

Authorities said Robinson told investigators she had argued with the child, struck her on the arms, legs and torso, and threatened to put her into the dark basement "with the `Boogey Man."'  

She maintained the child then became scared and fell, but several police and emergency medical personnel reported hearing her say repeatedly she had pushed the victim.    

Authorities also allege the child "had been severely beaten over a period of time," with the autopsy indicating extensive bruises, scars, puncture wounds and strike marks over her arms, legs and back.    

Robinson's 2-year-old son, who was unharmed, is now with a county agency, officials said. Court documents did not list a defense attorney Monday and a listed number for Robinson couldn't be found.

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