Woman accused in death of 8-year-old daughter pleads guilty - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Woman accused in death of 8-year-old daughter pleads guilty

Mary R. Zumwalt Jophlin (Source: West Frankfort Police Dept.) Mary R. Zumwalt Jophlin (Source: West Frankfort Police Dept.)
Alexus N. Smothers (Source: Jennifer Gaskin) Alexus N. Smothers (Source: Jennifer Gaskin)
Alexus N. Smothers (Source: Jennifer Gaskin) Alexus N. Smothers (Source: Jennifer Gaskin)
Alexus N. Smothers (Source: Jennifer Gaskin) Alexus N. Smothers (Source: Jennifer Gaskin)
1704 Oak Street in West Frankfort 1704 Oak Street in West Frankfort
WEST FRANKFORT, IL (KFVS) -

A woman accused in the 2011 death of her 8-year-old daughter in West Frankfort pleaded guilty to several charges Monday.

Mary R. Zumwalt Jophlin pleaded guilty in Franklin County to aggravated battery of a child, involuntary manslaughter, and concealment of a homicidal death.

Her 8-year-old daughter, Alexus N. Smothers, was found dead in July 2011.

In court paper work, the state alleged Zumwalt Jophlin used her hands, water, another object or a combination of both to kill Alexus Smothers.

Police found the body of Smothers in a basement crawl space of her West Frankfort home in 2011. Smothers was discovered after her mother called 911 to report the child missing.

Zumwalt Jophlin was sentenced to 25 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for the aggravated battery of a child charge. She must serve 85 percent of the 25 year sentence.

She was sentenced to 14 years for involuntary manslaughter. She also was sentenced to 10 years for concealment of a homicidal death that will begin at the conclusion of her 25 year sentence and 14 year sentence.

Jophlin had two other children. The children were taken from her in 2004 and returned in 2005.

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