A Texas woman accused of beating her 2-year-old daughter with a hairbrush has pleaded guilty to a charge in connection with the girl’s death after her body was found in a Houston bayou in August, court records show.
Sahara Ervin, 22, pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence, a human corpse, during a court hearing Wednesday as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors.
Her daughter, Maliyah Bass, was reported missing by her family after she played in her apartment complex’s playground on Aug. 22. A day later, a jogger spotted the body in Brays Bayou in an area southeast of the University of Houston that is about 17 miles west of Maliyah’s home.
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When Maliyah’s body was found, then Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo had said that investigators had suspected foul play, and they were treating the case as a murder investigation.
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Ervin, who remains behind bars, is due to appear in court on Jan. 11. Police arrested Ervin and her boyfriend, Travion Thompson, in October and charged both with injury to a child and tampering with evidence.
Medical examiners ruled Maliyah’s death a homicide. Thompson alleged that Ervin beat the girl with a hairbrush for not going to bed, according to court records. The girl was forced to sleep in a closet and was found dead the next morning, authorities said.
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Under the plea agreement, Ervin could be called to testify against Thompson, who has not been scheduled for trial. Prosecutors will recommend a 20-year prison sentence for Ervin as part of the agreement. Ervin is set to be sentenced on June 1.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.