Mother charged in fatal stabbing of 5-year-old Chicago girl

CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago woman charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of her 5-year-old daughter was ordered Monday to be held without bond after prosecutors gave chilling details provided by the child’s older sister who witnessed the slaying.

Prosecutors presented a proffer that included details of the last moments of Serenity Arrington’s life before Simone Austin allegedly slashed her throat with a serrated knife and repeatedly stabbed her.

According to prosecutors, Serenity’s 8-year-old sister told detectives that she was in a bedroom in their apartment in East Garfield Park on the city’s West Side when Austin told her to leave the room. The girl did so but then, looking through a hole in the door, she saw her mother pull a knife from under the pillow and attack her sister. According to the proffer, Serenity told her mother she was sorry and pleaded for her to stop.

At a press briefing before the hearing, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said the 27-year-old Austin had refused to talk to police so it remained unclear exactly why she may have attacked her daughter. In the proffer, the older girl perhaps provided an explanation; she told detectives that her mother had been walking around the apartment holding a knife after the older girl spilled eggs on the porch.

After Serenity was stabbed, according to Brown, Austin carried her out to the street and placed her on he ground and lay down next to her until firefighters arrived.

The child was rushed to Stroger Hospital, where she died a short time later.

According to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office, Austin was represented at Monday’s hearing by an attorney with the county’s public defender’s office. A message left with the public defender’s office was not immediately returned.

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