UPDATE: Milwaukee woman gets 25 years for suffocating son

UPDATE: A Milwaukee woman has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for smothering her toddler son.

Nora Zylstra

UPDATED Tuesday, June 3, 2014 --- 3:04 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A Milwaukee woman has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for smothering her toddler son.

A judge Tuesday sentenced 37-year-old Nora Zylstra to the state-recommended sentence. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (http://bit.ly/S49mKR ) reports the sentence is 10 years more than Zylstra's attorney suggested.

Zylstra pleaded guilty Monday to first-degree reckless homicide, not the original count of first-degree intentional homicide. She was accused in the March 9 death of her 14-month-old son, Leonidas Fisher.

The child's father, Lucas Fisher, told the judge that "no words can express how broken" he is. Fischer described Zylstra as controlling and manipulating, and said he decided to leave her in February.

Zylstra's attorney said Fisher's departure may have triggered feelings of abandonment Zylstra experienced as a child, when her father walked out on her family.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


UPDATED Tuesday, March 11, 2014 --- 4:27 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A Milwaukee woman has been charged with suffocating her 14-month-old son.

Police arrested 36-year-old Nora Zylstra after his father asked for a welfare check Sunday. Leonidas Fischer was dead in his crib. Officers found her moaning and lying in bed with a bottle of pills nearby.

The complaint filed Tuesday says Zylstra told police she was distraught because the boy's father moved out last month. She said he returned to pick up belongings Saturday, and rebuffed her pleas to reconcile for the good of their son.

The complaint says she admitted taking several prescription pills Saturday night and early Sunday before smothering the boy, then dressed him in his Christmas outfit before trying to kill herself with a toaster in the bathtub.

Court records don't list a lawyer for Zylstra.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


Posted Monday, March 10, 2014 --- 7:35 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A mother has been arrested in the death of her 14-month-old son in Milwaukee.

Police responded to a call from a concerned family member Sunday and found the mother semi-conscious at the home. The 36-year-old mother had apparently taken some pills. Her son was found dead at the scene.

Authorities say the mother was revived, treated and arrested. The Milwaukee County medical examiner will do an autopsy to determine how the child died.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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