Mother sentenced to 5 to 10 years after guilty but mentally ill plea in toddler slashing

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YORK, Pennsylvania — A central Pennsylvania mother who pleaded guilty but mentally ill to slashing her 2-year-old son's neck says she never intended to harm the child she called "a blessing."

Candis Bradshaw, 37, of Fairview Township entered the plea Tuesday in York County Court to charges of aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of children and possessing an instrument of crime.

Under a plea agreement with prosecutors, who dropped an attempted homicide charge, she was sentenced to five to 10 years in prison followed by 20 years of probation and will have mental health treatment throughout her sentence.

Authorities said Bradshaw cut the boy on both sides of his neck with a 12-inch butcher knife in January of last year. He spent several days in the hospital.

"The fact that I did this crime and turned into this horrible monster just pains me," Bradshaw told the judge Tuesday, her voice breaking. "It tears my heart to shreds."

Bradshaw said she does not remember her actions but accepts that she committed them because "there were only two of us in the house at that point."

"I should have taken more responsibility for my mental health, and I should have reached out for help that morning," she said.

The plea agreement bars her from having contact with her son, but she will be allowed to petition the court later to remove that provision.

"Having my son was the most memorable and momentous moment of my life. He was such a blessing," she said. "I never, ever wanted to harm my son."

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