Carisa Ashe, 34, reached a plea agreement with Atlanta prosecutors in February in which she will not serve a single day in jail for shaking her 5-week-old daughter to death in 1998.
The infant, Destiny, had been born premature and had been hospitalized for several weeks. Two days after going home, her mother shook the infant to death. Ashe told police that the baby simply stopped breathing.
Ashe, who has seven other children, had been charged with murder but reached an agreement to plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter which carried a sentence of up to 20 years in jail. Instead, Superior Court Judge Rowland Barnes ordered Ashe to serve five years probation and to have a tubal ligation within 3 months of her sentencing date to ensure she would have no more children.
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard told Cox News Service that he agreed to the plea deal because Ashe was suffering from postpartum depression when she killed Destiny.
Mother chooses sterilization over murder trial. Beth Warren, Cox News Service, February 10, 2005.