Photo by New York Post
BY KIMBERLY M. AQUILINA
A Far Rockaway woman pleaded guilty to fatally beating her 2-year-old daughter in 2014, the Queens district attorney said on Thursday. The beatings were repeated, authorities said, and the child had broken ribs and teeth, and bruises across her face, legs and body.
Ashley Diaz, 31, pleaded guilty to assault and manslaughter in the fatal beating of her 2-year-old daughter, Kevasia Edwards.
“The defendant admitted to doing the unthinkable — killing her own child,” District Attorney Richard Brown said. “In the short two years of the victim’s life, she suffered greatly. Bruises, abrasions and lacerations covered her tiny body. She was shaken violently and her brain was severely damaged and her liver lacerated.
“The defendant will be incarcerated for a very long time.”
She will be sentenced on Feb. 1, but the judge who took her plea indicated he would sentence Diaz to 17 years in prison with five years of post-release supervision.
On Feb. 3, 2014, Diaz left a neighbor with a sleeping 2-year-old Kevasia while she went to the grocery store. When Kevasia woke up, the neighbor thought the child looked “pale and lethargic,” but the little girl replied she was “fine,” the DA said.
Diaz returned from the store. Later that evening, she called her neighbor saying the child was not breathing. When the neighbor arrived, she started CPR and noticed Kevasia’s red and bruised face, bleeding lip and missing teeth, according to the DA’s office. The neighbor’s sister called 911.
Kevasia, who was in cardiac arrest, died just after midnight in St. John’s Episcopal Hospital.
“The child had both old and fresh bruising on her face, legs and torso,” according to the DA’s office. “Two of the toddler’s ribs had been fractured and there was scarring on her right foot consistent with a prior burn.” The injuries were also inconsistent with the history given by Diaz who said that her daughter had a seizure and fell to the ground recently, the office said.
Diaz previously claimed her daughter, who acted healthy and normal up to that day, had a seizure at 9:30 p.m., but the woman didn’t call for help until after 11 p.m.
Among a host of findings consistent with abuse, the autopsy report showed “Abusive Head Trauma with multiple, violent impacts to her head and body.”