WEST UNION — An Elgin woman will spend the rest of her life in prison for killing her infant daughter in 2018.
During a Monday morning hearing, Alicia Marie Rios, 29, entered an Alford plea — not admitting guilt but acknowledging a plea is in her best interest — to a charge of first-degree murder in Fayette County District Court in West Union.
A charge of child endangerment causing death was dismissed as part of the plea.
“I just want my daughter to be at rest,” Rios told the court as she entered her plea.
She acknowledged she considered the emotional toll of going to trial as well as effects a trial would have on her family when deciding to plead.
“I love my daughter, and I never meant for anything to happen,” Rios said, wiping away tears.
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The murder charge carries a mandatory prison sentence without the possibility of parole, which District Court Judge Linda Fangman imposed following the plea.
Fangman told Rios that Rios had a duty as a mother.
“You violated that duty in the worst way possible,” Fangman said.
Authorities said Rios struck her 5-month-old daughter, Lydia, in the head at her Main Street home Aug. 21 and then attempted to blame a toddler. Authorities were called to the home because Lydia wasn’t breathing. The baby later died at the hospital, and an autopsy found a skull fracture.
Rios initially said a 2-year-old had dropped a plastic caterpillar riding toy on the infant while the infant was in a car seat, according to court records. Investigators said the injuries weren’t consistent with the wounds, and Rios later admitted she had become frustrated and struck Lydia with a coffee table.