Mom pleads guilty to child abuse after toddler dies in parked car

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The mother of 21-month-old Scarlet Grace Harris pleaded guilty Wednesday to felony child abuse and is expected to be sentenced to 10 years in state prison in April.

SAN DIEGO — The mother of a toddler who died after being found unconscious in a vehicle outside their Tierrasanta home last summer pleaded guilty Wednesday to a felony child abuse charge and is slated to be sentenced to 10 years in state prison on April 6.

Pricilla Marquez Harris, 25, also admitted sentence-enhancing allegations of causing great bodily injury or death.

The defendant initially reported her 20-month-old daughter missing in a 12:30 p.m. call to police last Aug. 5. She called again a short time later to say the youngster had been found inside her car, which was parked outside their residence in the 10300 block of Leary Street, and told a dispatcher that the child was unresponsive and not breathing, according to San Diego police.

Medics went to the home and tried in vain to revive the toddler before pronouncing her dead at the scene.

Child abuse detectives were called in to investigate the death and their findings were forwarded to the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office. Harris was taken into custody by San Diego police last September.

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