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Young Woman Gets 19-Month Minimum Sentence For Smothering Newborn

Jessica Lynn Brewster
Jessica Lynn Brewster (credit: Muskegon County Jail)

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WWJ/AP) - An 18-year-old Muskegon  woman has been sentenced to 19 months to 15 years for suffocating her newborn daughter.

The Muskegon Chronicle reports Jessica Lynn Brewster —who had pleaded guilty to manslaughter by criminal negligence — was sentenced Thursday by Muskegon County 14th Circuit Chief Judge William C. Marietti.

Overriding a request by her attorney, Marietti ruled she will keep the felony on her record.

According to authorities, Brewster — age 17 at the time — suffocated her baby with a towel to silence her crying on Oct. 15, 2014. She had just given birth in a bathroom in her family's house.

According to a police reporte, Brewster said she held a towel over the baby's face when she heard footsteps coming toward the bathroom. The child died in under a minute. The next day she buried the body outside her great-grandmother's apartment complex where it was found by a janitor.

According to authorities, Brewster said she had concealed her pregnancy, and panicked when she gave birth because she was afraid of what her mother and sisters would think.

With credit for 281 days already served, she could be free in less than 10 months if she serves her minimum sentence.

Prior to the birth of her child, Brewster was high school honors student with no criminal record.

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