BALTIMORE, July 28 (UPI) -- A Baltimore woman sentenced to 40
years in prison for abusing and killing a child she was caring
for has asked a judge to overturn her conviction.
Satrina Roberts entered a guilty plea six years ago. Her lawyers
now argue that she did not understand what she was doing when she
pleaded guilty because of "mental health issues," low
intelligence and heavy drinking, the Baltimore Sun reported.
Roberts became the legal guardian of Ciara Jobes because the
girl's mother was terminally ill with AIDS. The girl, then 15,
died in 2002.
When Ciara's body was found, investigators said she had hundreds
of scars and weighed only 73 pounds.
Maryland made changes in laws governing legal guardianship after
Ciara's death. Legal guardians must be evaluated for parental
fitness, and judges who place children now have the power to
inspect their homes after placement.
A hearing on Roberts' application for post-conviction relief was
scheduled Wednesday afternoon.