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Woman pleads guilty to killing newborn son at D.C. convent

WASHINGTON — A woman studying to become a nun pleaded guilty Friday to killing her newborn son at a convent in Washington.

Sosefina Amoa, 26, took a plea deal and pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter Friday in a Washington courtroom. The charge is punishable by up to 30 years in prison, but the prosecutor said she would ask for at least four but no more than 10 years.

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Her lawyer, Judith Pipe, said Amoa ‘‘never intended to harm her baby.’’ She said that after Amoa delivered the child in her room at the Little Sisters of the Poor convent in October, she was in a state of panic and shock. She was also in pain and had lost blood after a ‘‘very difficult delivery,’’ her lawyer said.

It was in that state of mind, her lawyer said, that Amoa put her hand over the child’s mouth to ‘‘quiet the baby so she could figure out what she was going to do.’’ Amoa acknowledged putting a wool garment over the baby’s nose and mouth and applying pressure with her hand for two to three minutes, smothering the child.

Amoa is scheduled to be sentenced May 23.

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