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Lower East Side Woman Sentenced to 18 Years in Prison For Murdering Baby

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A Lower East Side woman who killed her baby inside a restaurant bathroom in 2015 has been sentenced to 18 years in prison.

38-year-old Latisha Fisher, a resident of the Gompers Houses, pleaded guilty to manslaughter earlier this fall, just as her trial was expected to begin.

On March 30, 2015, a manager found Fisher with her one-year-old son, Gavriel Ortiz-Fisher, in the bathroom of 5 Boro Burger in Midtown. The baby’s lips were blue and he was foaming from the mouth. Fisher told a paramedic that the devil made her put him to sleep. She reportedly made a smothering gesture with her hand to explain what had just transpired.

Fisher decided against an insanity defense, in spite of a lengthy history of emotional problems. As the New York Times reported, Fisher, “wept uncontrollably, muttering through her tears: ‘I am sorry. I love my son.,” just before her sentencing.

Even before the baby’s birth, Fisher had engaged in violent behavior. She set fire to her mother’s boyfriend, spilled scalding oil on the face of her own boyfriend and tried to kill her aunt. Fisher had also tried to kill herself.  Fisher was diagnosed with severe paranoid schizophrenia while locked up at Rikers Island in 2011.

If the case had gone to trial and she had been convicted, Fisher faced 25 years to life in prison. She’ll now receive credit for more than two years served and be eligible for parole in about 15 years.

Luis Ortiz Jr., the baby’s father, spoke at the sentencing hearing, according to the Times. He said Gavriel’s murder sent him into a deep depression and caused him to lose his job. Ortiz said he blamed himself for the tragedy because he rejected an offer from Fisher to join them the day of the murder. “I should have gone with him that day,” said Ortiz.

In a statement, District Attorney Cy Vance said, “Gavriel Ortiz-Fisher never reached his second birthday because of his mother’s unconscionable act… While the fatal suffocation of a child at the hands of his own mother is a tragedy that can never be undone, I hope this lengthy prison sentence gives the victim’s grieving family some sense of closure. I urge anyone who believes they know a victim of child abuse to call our Child Abuse Hotline at 212-335-4308, or visit the Manhattan Family Justice Center at 80 Centre Street. Help is available for those in need.”



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