Grandmother charged with murder after baby killed with power saw

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A grandmother is now charged with killing her 7-month-old granddaughter.

Manuela Rodriguez, 52, is charged with first degree murder in the death of her granddaughter Rose Herrera in Chicago's Little Village neighborhood.

Rodriguez was babysitting Herrera on Monday morning when prosecutors say she made a phone call to her sister.

"The defendant admitted to her sister that she'd killed her 7-month-old granddaughter," said Barry Quinn, assistant state's attorney.

In court Wednesday, prosecutors recounted the gruesome details they say happened in Little Village apartment building. They say Rodriguez beat, suffocated and cut the throat of the infant because the baby would not stop crying.

They say she then tried to kill herself by cutting her own throat. Emergency responders found the little girl.

"Visible blunt force trauma to both sides of head, sock shoved into mouth. They also observed deep cuts to baby's neck, throat and chest," Quinn said.

Prosecutors say police retrieved a pipe wrench and power saw from the apartment.

Rodriguez's attorney said she had sought mental health treatment and calls what happened a tragedy.

"You have a child being cared for by someone who's trusted to the family, someone who's always been there for not just family but for everybody else," said Ignatius Villasenor, Rodriguez's attorney.

Rodriguez will be transferred to Cermak Hospital for mental health evaluation. She was ordered held without bail, the judge calling her a danger to society and a danger to herself.
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