N.Y.C. Mom Who Smothered Toddler Son in Restaurant Bathroom Sentenced to 18 Years: ‘I Am Sorry’

A 38-year-old mother who told authorities the devil compelled her to smother her 20-month-old son in the bathroom of a New York City restaurant two years ago was sentenced on Monday to 18 years in prison, PEOPLE confirms.

Latisha Fisher was charged with murder in the March 2015 death of her baby boy, Gavriel Ortiz-Fisher.

Court records accessed by PEOPLE show that Fisher pleaded guilty last month to manslaughter as part of a deal between prosecutors and her defense team. A statement from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. confirms that upon her release, Fisher will be under state supervision for 10 years.

The New York Times reports that as Justice Gregory Carro of State Supreme Court in Manhattan announced her sentence, Fisher wept uncontrollably and could be heard muttering through tears, “I am sorry. I love my son.”

Her attorney did not immediately return a message seeking comment, but he has said Fisher is mentally ill.

Gavriel was killed on March 30, 2015. His mother was found inside the bathroom of the 5 Boro Burger Restaurant in Midtown Manhattan. She had the child on her lap, and prosecutors said his lips were blue and he was foaming from the nose.

Fisher told a paramedic who responded to the scene that “the devil made her put him to sleep,” according to the Times.

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Before she became a mother, Fisher was reportedly diagnosed with severe paranoid schizophrenia during a three-month stint at Rikers Island in 2011. According to the Times, doctors said she heard voices telling her to murder her aunt and commit suicide.

“It’s really unquestionable she has a mental illness,” her lawyer, Bryan Konoski, told the paper. “The ultimate question is whether she knew or understood that what she did was wrong.”

In a statement announcing the sentence, however, D.A. Vance focused on Fisher’s son.

“Gavriel Ortiz-Fisher never reached his second birthday because of his mother’s unconscionable act,” he said.

“While the fatal suffocation of a child at the hands of his own mother is a tragedy that can never be undone, I hope this lengthy prison sentence gives the victim’s grieving family some sense of closure.”

Via: http://people.com/crime/new-york-mom-sentenced-smothered-son-at-restaurant/

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