ST. LOUIS – A St. Louis woman pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter of a toddler. She was sentenced on September 1 to eight years in prison as part of a plea agreement. She had originally been charged with the Class A felony of child abuse resulting in death.

India Basquine, 52, pleaded guilty on July 24 to a reduced charge of first-degree involuntary manslaughter in the death of 23-month-old Jream Polk on May 28, 2018. Basquine struck or shook the girl, causing brain damage, at Basquine’s north St. Louis home. Initially, Basquine told authorities she didn’t know what happened to Polk and that the child was playing outside with other children at the time.

In court on Friday, Polk’s mother, Tierra Townsell, said she is still traumatized and depressed over Polk’s death and that she’s not happy with the plea deal. She also said she doesn’t feel safe leaving her other four children with anyone.

“My life will never be the same,” she said. “I’m broken. I’m torn. I’m frustrated. I’m angry. But I have to be strong for my other kids.”

Basquine said in court that she was “so sorry for what happened” and said she only took the plea deal because “I don’t want this to happen to another child.”

After a brief discussion with her lawyer, Basquine clarified her statement by admitting to the judge that she did strike Polk with an object and is guilty of involuntary manslaughter.