Mother pleads no contest in death of 2 year-old | Crime
BARTOW, FL -- Ina Brown pleaded no contest Thursday to charges of aggravated manslaughter and neglect of a child, agreeing also to testify against her husband, Marcus Brown, of Lakeland.
Prosecutors say Deondray Ashe, 2, died after Marcus Brown beat him with a belt, nearly 30 times last June.
Investigators said there may have been a red flag two months earlier when DCF first received a report of possible child abuse from the Lakeland Regional Medical Center.
Ashe had two fractured ribs then. Lakeland Police closed the case without charges, saying the parents provided a plausible explanation.
A DCF caseworker spent the next month monitoring the family according to circuit administrator Ann Berne, but by the end of May, the DCF case was closed.
In June, Ashe died.
At the time, a DCF caseworker blamed Brown but also pointed a finger at the boy's mother, Ina.
"She was a witness to the beatings of the child. She's aware of the whole circumstance and has failed to protect the children," they said at the time.
Ina Brown was sentenced to 10 years in Prison. prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Marcus Brown.