Leavenworth woman pleads no contest in death of her mother

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (AP) — A Leavenworth woman has pleaded no contest to fatally beating her 85-year-old mother with a 3-pound mallet.

The Kansas City Star reports that 60-year-old Victoria Smith entered the plea Friday. Authorities say Smith was screaming that she had killed someone when police responded in July 2016 and found her mother, Anna Higgins, dead.

She later admitted to being surprised by being awakened by Higgins. The Leavenworth County Attorney says Smith then struck her mother with a flashlight in the doorway to her bedroom, moved her to the living room and proceeded to strike her several more times with the mallet.

Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson described the case as a “sad situation all the way around.”

Sentencing for the second-degree murder charge is set for July 21.

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