Kentucky mom pleads guilty to murder, child sex charges in daughter’s death

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MOREHEAD, Ky. (WDKY) – A Menifee County woman has pleaded guilty to the murder of her daughter along with sex charges after the 1-year-old died following sexual abuse.

Prosecutors say Laura Blanton’s daughter died from injuries sustained through the abuse in the care of Robert Collins in the days leading to her death.

Law enforcement testified the daughter sustained physical and sexual abuse, and Blanton knew about the abuse without calling authorities. Collins is the one accused of abusing the girl. A deputy said Blanton tried to speed up the recovery of the bruising using vitamin C and ‘Witch Hazel.’

Blanton pleaded guilty to murder and the amended charges of complicity to rape and complicity to sodomy Friday in Rowan Circuit Court. She could face up to 20 years in prison.

Collins’ trial is scheduled for November 2019. He has a status hearing in December.

A sheriff’s deputy gave testimony in court on Tuesday.

“She was very pale, I thought she was dead.”

Robert Workman described the state he found, Aria Blanton, in when responding to a call at a local convenience store about an unresponsive child.

“She (the caller) said quote somebody has beat this baby to death,” Workman explained.

The deputy pointed out that neither Blanton or Collins were the one making the call for help.

“She had severe bruising to her face and she was only wearing a diaper so I could see bruising on other parts of her body.”

The 20-month-old airlifted to the University of Kentucky Medical Center where investigators say doctors discovered more than that bruising including a lacerated spleen, fractured skull, and internal bleeding.

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