published Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

AL woman pleads guilty in death of adopted daughter

GADSDEN, Ala. — A woman accused of killing her adopted infant daughter has pleaded guilty to manslaughter and has been released from jail after being given credit for time served.

The Gadsden Times reports 39-year-old Tonya Cate has been in jail since March of 2005 and is ordered to serve 24 months of unsupervised probation.

Cate was originally charged with capital murder in the 2003 death of 16-month old Serena Cate. She died of blunt force trauma to her head.

Cate's attorney, Roy McCord says his client decided that pleading guilty was in her best interest, but was not necessarily and admission of guilt.

District Attorney Jimmie Harp says evidence presented by the defense brought up reasonable doubt that could have compromised the case had it been presented to a jury.

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