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Mom Pleads Guilty In 10-year-old Daughter's Death

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Serina Madden Serina Madden

Serina Madden has pleaded guilty to causing the death of her 10-year-old daughter. Madden entered that plea in Broome County Court Thursday morning, just days before her trial was set to begin. 

Police say they found the body of 10-year-old Belladonna Loke in a Town of Colesville home in February 2018. Broome County District Attorney Steve Cornwell says Loke had cerebral palsy and relied on her mother for care, but Madden instead withheld food and medical care. 

Cornwell says this case was a difficult one because there was no immediate indication of foul play. Upon digging deeper, he says investigators discovered Loke relied on a feeding tube, which Madden was not administering. While he didn't go into specifics of how long Loke was deceased before police found her body, Cornwell says it was long enough "the defendant would have known she was deceased."

"Had the mother cared for the child like she was supposed to and not consciously disregard that care, the child would be alive today. Bella would be alive today," says Cornwell.

Cornwell says his office consulted with medical experts from in and out of state and interviewed witnesses who helped piece together what happened to 10-year-old Bella Loke. He says the child ultimately died of pneumonia.

Madden, originally charged with murder, pleaded guilty to first degree manslaughter and is expected to be sentenced to 15 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for February 5th in Broome County Court.