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Missouri mother gets 25 years for role in baby’s death

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ST. LOUIS (AP) _ A Missouri mother has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for encouraging her boyfriend to sexually assault her 4-month-old daughter in an attack that later killed the child.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1Kw6KNc ) reports that 26-year-old Jessica Lynn Howell, of O’Fallon, was sentenced after pleading guilty Friday to felony abuse of a child and felony murder. During the December 2012 assault, Ashlynn Lillith Peters was beaten and strangled, apparently to quiet her crying.

Court documents said she sent a series of text messages to her boyfriend _ when Ashlynn was just one month old _ encouraging him to have sexual contact with her daughter.

Her boyfriend is set to be tried in March on charges of first-degree murder, abuse of a child and forcible sodomy in Ashlynn’s death.