JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A 22-year-old woman who pleaded guilty to shaking her baby to death for crying while she was playing a game on Facebook was sentenced to 50 years in prison Tuesday afternoon.
Alexandra Tobias received the maximum penalty on the second-degree murder charge.
Tobias was arrested after her 3-month-old son, Dylan Lee Edmondson, died one year ago. Prosecutors said Tobias admitted to becoming angry because the baby would not stop crying while she was playing Farmville on Facebook.
"I am trying to say this is not a plea about pity. I'm asking for mercy," Tobias told the judge before he sentenced her. "I realize I do deserve consequences, but the death of my son is a life sentence in itself. So could you please consider that I am still young and I have ambitions, potential, hopes and dreams."
The judge was stern toward Tobias, telling her a mother is supposed to protect a baby, yet she ended up killing her baby.
The baby's father and other family members were in court for the sentencing. The child's grandfather addressed the judge.
"This unspeakable act has robbed our family of his first words, his first steps, his first base hit, his first sweetheart and a lifetime of memories that would only be cherished by all of us," he said.
"He's only 14 weeks old; he's not breathing," Alexandra Tobias frantically told a 911 operator in January 2010.
Shortly after that 911 call was made, Tobias told investigators a dog knocked her child off a couch, he hit his head and he stopped breathing. Court documents show that Tobias later admitted to shaking her baby violently because the 3-month-old would not stop crying while she was playing a game on Facebook.
Prosecutors said they also have a statement from a cellmate who said Tobias confessed to her.
"I asked her 'What you here for?' and she said, 'Murder,'" inmate Lois Hay said. "I said, 'Murder? Who who did you murder?' She said, 'I murdered my baby, my own baby.' And I was, like, 'Why did you do that?' She said she shook her baby and during the shaking of the baby, the baby hit his head on the computer."
In recorded telephone calls Tobias made to family members, she said the recent death of her mother affected her psychological state, and it may have been a contributing factors to her aggression on the night of her son's death.
"Ever since I found my mother dead, I just haven't been the same," Tobias said.
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