Crime

Texas woman smothered 9-year-old niece with pillow as teen son watched, warrant says

A Mansfield woman used a blue and white pillow to smother her 9-year-old niece on a couch as her teenage son watched, according to a warrant.

Once she put the pillow on the girl’s face, Mercia Sneed used the weight of her body to keep her niece from kicking, according to the warrant obtained Friday by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Mercia Sneed, 40, kept the pillow on Melodi Sneed’s face until her niece stopped moving, the warrant says.

Sneed remained in the Tarrant County Jail on Friday facing a charge of capital murder.

Mansfield police have not commented on a motive for the killing.

The warrant gave this brief account of the killing:

In the early morning hours of July 27, Mercia Sneed walked into a game room at a house in the 4200 block of Eagle Drive in Mansfield.

Sneed told her 13-year-old son to leave the room and go to a bedroom. The teen would later tell authorities he witnessed the whole incident.

Mercia Sneed grabbed the blue and white pillow and walked over to where Melodi Sneed was sleeping on a couch and placed it over her face, according to the warrant.

Sneed pushed the pillow down for two to three minutes, placing her body on the child, who tried to grab her aunt. Her son told authorities his cousin tried to scream, but the sounds were muffled by the pillow.

After her niece stopped moving, Sneed tried to clean the girl’s face with peroxide.

When she was finished, Sneed took the peroxide bottle and pillow and walked out of the home, throwing the bottle in some bushes and putting the pillow in a car.

Melodi Sneed was later found unresponsive in the game room, and rushed to Mansfield Methodist Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

At the home, Mercia Sneed’s son told Mansfield police that his mother had suffocated his cousin. Mercia Sneed was later arrested.

Sneed was initially arrested on a charge of injury to a child, according to Tarrant County court records.

But on Wednesday, Mercia Sneed called Mansfield police Detective Patrick Knotts and wanted to talk to investigators. At that time, she confessed to the killing, according to the warrant.

After that confession, the charge was upgraded to capital murder.

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