Mother pleads guilty to murder, child abuse charges in death of -

Mother pleads guilty to murder, child abuse charges in death of infant daughter

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By KMOV Web Producer By KMOV Web Producer

ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. ( –  On Friday, a St. Charles County woman pleaded guilty to second degree murder and child abuse charges in the death of her 4-month-old daughter.

Twenty-six-year-old Jessica Lynn Howell’s daughter, Ashlynn Lilith Peters, died on Dec. 3, 2012 after she was allegedly sexually assaulted and strangled to death by Jordan Lafayette Prince, Howell’s boyfriend.

Prosecutors say the night before the girl was assaulted and killed, Howell had taken Ashlynn with her to spend the night at Prince’s home.

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Evidence in the case included text messages from the mother consenting to the sexual assault of her daughter by Prince.

According to court documents, Jessica Lynn Howell was aware Prince had a prior conviction for assaulting a child, had looked up the prior incident on the Internet and had even discussed it with Prince himself.

Howell was sentenced to 25 years in Peters’ death. Prince is currently facing first degree murder, abuse of a child and forcible sodomy charges. 

Under Missouri law, Howell will be required to register as sex offender for the remainder of her natural life. 

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