A Manassas woman pleaded guilty Monday to murdering a 23-month-old toddler she was babysitting at a home on Birchwood Court in Manassas in August of 2012, Prince William County Commonwealth's Attorney Paul Ebert said.
Jessica Fraraccio was arrested in March and indicted in May by a grand jury on murder and child abuse charges, Prince William County court documents show.
She pleaded guilty Monday to felony murder and felony child abuse charges. The child abuse charge in the indictment was nolle prosequi, meaning the prosecutors in the case declined to pursue that charge, Ebert said.
The felony murder charge carries a sentence of anywhere from five to 40 years, while the felony child abuse charge carries a maximum sentence of 50 years, he added.
Evidence in the case indicates the child, who hasn't been identified by authorities, was smothered and died of suffocation, Ebert said.
Fraraccio's trial was supposed to begin today, but she pleaded guilty. Court documents did not name her defense attorney. She is expected to be sentenced in January.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Teresa A. Polinske.
No prior information on the death of the toddler was released before Fraraccio's March arrest because the cause and manner of death of the toddler were still under investigation, Manassas City Police said in an earlier report.