W. Va. woman sentenced on attempt to smother child

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A West Virginia woman was sentenced to between 9 and 22 months in jail on charges that she tried to smother her infant son at a Pittsburgh hospital.

Authorities say Rachel Nelson, 23, of Costa tried to kill her 4-month-old son in October 2012, while he was being treated at Children’s Hospital. Her sentence also includes five years of probation and no contact with any minor children.

Nelson first told investigators that she blacked out during incidents involving the child but eventually acknowledged she would hold the boy against her chest and hold him tighter when he struggled for air.

The boy recovered and is living in West Virginia with his father.

Defense attorney Tricia Beth Henning says Nelson has significant mental health issues.

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