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No jail for mom of tot who was left alone, died in fire

Kalenah Muldrow

CBS New York

NEW YORK -- The mother of a 2-year-old girl who was left alone at home and died in a fire faces three years probation.

Leila Aquino, 21, pleaded guilty Friday to criminally negligent homicide in the death of her daughter Kalenah Muldrow last February.

Their apartment in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood caught fire while she was away, working as a stripper. CBS New York reported at the time that Aquino returned home hours after firefighters put out the flames, hysterical and searching for her daughter. That’s when firefighters re-entered the home and discovered the child’s body underneath a bed.

Neighbor Malcolm Yates said he’s thought about what the child went through in her final minutes.

“That’s a sign of being scared right there. You’re found underneath your bed, you don’t know what’s going on,” neighbor Malcolm Yates told the station in February. “I could imagine the first thing she was looking for when she woke up was her mother. Like, where’s my mom?”

The station reported at the time that Aquino initially told police she left the child with a babysitter, but later admitted she left her alone with the television on.

Aquino pleaded guilty in Brooklyn state Supreme Court. She had faced up to four years in prison if she had been convicted at trial, reports the New York Daily News.

She also must enter a program with the Women’s Prison Association.