Nioshka Bello Case: Jury Will Hear Confession Of Mom Accused Of Strangling Toddler With Bra
A Florida jury will hear Nioshka Bello's confession that she strangled her 2-year-old daughter, Janessa Sandoval, with a bra.
Seminole Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler rejected a defense request on Monday that she disallow the confession made by Bello, 24.
"I killed her ... with my hands," Bello allegedly told Seminole County police. "That's the honest truth ... I used my bra, too."
Bello allegedly said she was in a state of anger and despair early on the morning of Sept. 26, 2009. She and her daughter were staying with her mother and stepfather in an apartment in Casselberry, Fla., and Bello, who had no job or money, was about to become homeless, according to court documents. She had also had an argument with the girl's father.
Initially Bello allegedly attempted to strangle her daughter with her hands. She then took off her bra -- a white brassiere with hearts -- and used the undergarment to choke the life out of her child, according to police. Afterward, Bello swallowed as many as 20 Benadryl pills and an unknown number of Tylenol tablets in a failed suicide attempt, police said.
After allegedly killing her daughter, Bello woke her mother and told her that her daughter was not breathing, officials said. Bello's stepfather, Roberto Ruiz, called the Seminole County Sheriff's Office.
"The baby's not breathing. I don't know what the mother did to the daughter," Ruiz told a sheriff's dispatcher.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Janessa was pronounced dead upon arrival at a local hospital. A medical examiner later ruled her death a homicide.
Because of her alleged suicide attempt, Bellow was involuntarily admitted to the psychiatric ward of a Longwood hospital. During her stay there she allegedly confessed to Casselberry Police Sgt. James Goodman that she had killed her daughter, according to court records.
Since the homicide, Bello has twice been admitted to state institutions after experts found her incompetent to stand trial, the Sun-Sentinel reported.
Bello's 15-minute recorded confession was replayed Monday for Judge Recksiedler, who later decided the statement could be admitted as evidence in Bello's trial on charges of first-degree premeditated murder. Last week, the judge ruled Bello competent to stand trial.
The latest ruling in the case paves the way for jury selection to begin later this month.
Bello's public defender, Tim Caudill, had asked Recksiedler to throw out the alleged confession. Caudill claimed his client's state of mind at that time would have made it impossible for her to understand that she had the right to remain silent.
"Testimony is quite clear that at some point in time she even becomes catatonic because of the events," Caudill said, according to the Associated Press.
"None of the statements that were made were voluntary," Caudill added.
Assistant State Attorney Stacey Salmons countered that Bello was "alert, intelligent and gave a knowing and voluntary waives of her rights," the AP reported.