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Kent County mother pleads no contest to 2nd-degree murder, child abuse charges

Tatiana Fusari and her husband were both charged with the death of their infant daughter.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The mother accused in the death of her nearly 10-month-old daughter pleaded no contest to lesser charges on Wednesday. 

Tatiana Fusari, 29, has been jailed since August 2018 after her daughter Mary was discovered dead in her crib. Fusari and her husband, Seth Welch, were both charged with first degree child abuse and felony murder. 

On Jan. 29, Fusari entered a no contest plea to second degree murder and second degree child abuse. Her plea came just days before her trial was set to begin and days after Welch was convicted by a jury. Under the agreement, Fusari will serve a minimum of 25 years. 

Read more: 'Dead as a doornail' dad says of emaciated infant he's accused of killing

At the time of Mary's death, she weighed just over a pound more than she did at birth. During Welch's trial, a Kent County jury was shown pictures of her emaciated body and listened to a chilling 911 call from Welch that came more than an hour after Mary was found dead. On Monday, the jury deliberated for less than an hour and a half before convicting Welch on both charges

In the months leading up to Mary's death, Fusari had worked a full-time job, while Welch tended to their three young children. Welch's defense attorney said his client was overwhelmed and ill-equipped to take care of his kids. 

Fusari gave birth to a fourth child while she's been incarcerated, and that child was placed in the care of a foster family. The couple's other two children were placed with family members. 

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