Prosecutor: Mom says she killed girl as protection

November 8, 2010 11:58:49 AM PST
A woman charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of her 4-year-old daughter in suburban Chicago told police she killed her child to prevent her from being raped and sold as a sex slave online, prosecutors said.

Marci Webber of East Nassau, N.Y., was being held Monday at DuPage County Jail on $5 million bond in the death of Magdalene "Maggie" Webber. Her body was found last week in an upstairs bathroom of a Bloomingdale town house. The child's throat was slashed and the words "divine mercy" were scrawled in blood on a nearby wall, according to DuPage County prosecutors.

The 43-year-old mother told police she gave her daughter sleeping pills and Benadryl, some of which were found next to the girl's body along with a 4-inch folding knife, prosecutors said.

"She said she wanted to keep her daughter from being an Internet sex slave," Assistant State's Attorney Joseph Lindt said in court Sunday.

Prosecutors later said they did not believe the girl ever faced such a threat. They planned to seek a mental health evaluation in anticipation of an insanity defense, Paul Darrah, a spokesman for the DuPage County state's attorney, said Monday.

He said prosecutors would seek the evaluation after Webber's Nov. 29 arraignment.

Webber has been assigned a public defender. The DuPage County Public Defender's office said that an attorney would not be able to comment on Monday.

Police in Bloomingdale, a village northwest of Chicago, found the child's body after responding to a 911 call on Wednesday from Webber's teenage daughter. Webber had been staying with her mother in Bloomingdale.

When police arrived, they found Webber bleeding from the wrists. She appeared in court via closed-circuit TV on Sunday with bandages on her wrists.

DuPage Circuit Court Judge Richard Russo denied Webber's request to have her bond reduced.


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