Illinois woman pleads guilty to manslaughter in death of her newborn at Michigan campsite

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BEULAH, Michigan — A suburban Chicago woman accused of killing her newborn at a northern Michigan campground has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Alyce Morales made the plea Tuesday in Benzie County Circuit Court. In exchange, a murder charge was dropped.

Authorities say Morales gave birth in a campsite tent in July 2013, then fatally injured the child.

The 19-year-old from Cicero, Illinois, said in court that she started to panic after the baby was born. Morales said she started hitting herself with a closed fist and accidently hurt the infant in the process.

Defense lawyer Jesse Williams calls it a "tragic, sad situation."

Morales faces up to 15 years in prison. Her sentencing date hasn't been set.

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