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Mommy blogger who wrote about daughter's deadly 'accident' gets life for murder

A mommy blogger who wrote heart-rending posts about her four year-old daughter’s accidental death has been jailed for life for murdering the youngster. Stephanie Smith, 28, was handed the sentence Monday after admitting the July 2016 murder of her daughter Zadie Wren Cooper in Athens, Alabama.

Smith called police to say she’d found Zadie unresponsive, and told officers she had found her daughter suffocated after wedging herself between her bed and wall. Zadie was rushed to hospital, where she was later taken off life support. A subsequent autopsy was unable to establish her cause of death.

Smith took to blogging about her late daughter on a website called ‘Living Without Z: A Journey Through Grief.’ In one post, Smith wrote about how seeing Zadie’s tombstone had ‘scarred’ her and wrote: ‘A part of me is missing, forever.’

In another post from April 2017, Smith addressed rumors she’d killed Zadie, writing: ‘What happened to Z was a freak occurrence. So freaky, people actually accused ME of killing her. Yes, you read that right. That’s how desperate we are for answers. I get no closure. Her death remains a mystery. And I couldn’t have predicted it or prevented it, just like I couldn’t save her.’

But that denial was false, with Smith’s conscience getting the better of her just days later.

She walked into her local police station in April 2017 to admit killing Zadie.

Smith said she’d smothered her daughter with a pillow after she stopped her medication for a psychiatric condition.

She said she’d killed Zadie during a medication ‘blackout’, and came-to after to discover Zadie had died.

Smith said she hadn’t admitted to the murder at the time because she did not want to get in trouble.

Her murder trial had been due to take place earlier this year, but was delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The killer mom had originally been charged with capital murder – meaning she could have faced the death penalty.

She later struck a plea deal which saw her admit felony murder in return for having the prospect of an execution dropped.

Sentencing Judge C Chadwick Wise left open the possibility of parole for Smith, the Athens News-Courier reported, although she will likely spend years in jail before being considered for release.

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