Mother who killed her baby: 'I put my hands over her nose and mouth'

Published: Jun. 22, 2012 at 4:35 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 22, 2012 at 9:15 PM CDT
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Lauryn Dickens
Lauryn Dickens

(WMC-TV) - The mother convicted of murdering her own daughter admitted that she put her hands over her little girl's mouth and nose until she went limp.

Shakara Dickens took the stand at her sentencing Friday and confessed to the crime she has denied since the day her 9-month-old daughter was reported missing in 2010.

Dickens testified that she could not find a babysitter for her daughter on September 7.

"Lauryn saw me crying and she started crying," Dickens said during her testimony.

When her daughter would not stop crying, Dickens said she put her hands over Lauryn's nose and mouth.

"I don't know what I was thinking, I don't know what was wrong with me but I was holding her, I put my hands over her mouth and nose and she passed out," said Dickens. "I realized what I was doing and I stopped. She started crying and I did it again and her body just went limp."

She said that is when she grabbed a towel from the bathroom and a trash bag from the kitchen.

"I got scared. I got a towel and I wrapped her up," she said. "And I put her in a bag and I put her in the garbage."

Shakara Dickens said she took the garbage bag, containing her daughter's body, downstairs and put it in an empty dumpster two apartment buildings away.

When asked if she ever went back to the dumpster, Dickens said she had not but that she watched as it was emptied at 4 a.m. a few days later.

Shakara admitted that the stories she told detectives early on in the investigation were false. At one time, she said she gave Lauryn up for adoption.

"This closes the door on any possibility that maybe it didn't happen or maybe it was an accident. Because clearly under these circumstances it was obviously not an accident. So that kind of gives everybody closure as to what happened in this case," said Prosecutor Reggie Henderson.

The little girl's body was never found. Shakara was found guilty of murder and hiding her daughter's body in March 2012.

"It's a tough trial. It's a tough result. It's a tough story," said Defense Attorney Murray Wells. "I don't think she's a cold-blooded killer. I think that emotionally she didn't recognize the seriousness of what she did."

At today's hearing, the prosecution recommended she be sentenced to 19 years for the crimes. The judge accepted the recommendation.

She will be given credit for time already served. Dickens will not be able to appeal the sentence.

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