Lehigh Valley

Judge's accepts mom's guilty plea in fatal beating of son

Essence James will be sentenced in April.

Essence James pleads guilty

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - An Allentown woman accused of beating her toddler son to death has pleaded guilty for the second time. 

On Thursday, Essence James pleaded guilty to third degree murder in the death of her son, Cordero James.

The judge rejected her first attempt to plead guilty last week, before accepting the plea on Thursday.

Police say the 15-month-old boy died at the hospital in March, 2013.

An autopsy showed that the boy had numerous injuries to his head, neck and torso, along with broken ribs and a broken collar bone.

Investigators say some of the injuries were in the process of healing, so they believe the boy was repeatedly beaten.

Michael James, Essence James' boyfriend, was arrested shortly after the child's death.

He was charged with child endangerment after he admitted to being high on marijuana while he was supposed to be watching the child.

A month later, Essence James was arrested and charged with homicide.

She'll be sentenced in April.

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