Woman Admits to Killing Son, Wants to Withdraw Plea

Thursday, Apr 24, 2014  |  Updated 3:41 PM EDT
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Woman Admits to Killing Son, Wants to Withdraw Plea

A Middlesex County woman who admitted smothering her 6-year-old son in 2005 has been allowed to make a case for withdrawing her guilty plea.

Alice O'Donnell has been serving a 30-year prison sentence without a chance for parole. She claimed she would have gone to trial if her attorney had advised her adequately.

A lower court ruled against her in 2012, but an appeals court took her side in a ruling published Thursday and sent the case to the lower court for an evidentiary hearing.

O'Donnell had a history of mental illness and psychiatric hospitalizations, according to court documents. She claimed she killed her son because she feared he was being abused by a priest and if she lost custody of him because of impending homelessness, the abuse would continue.

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