Before her plea, Lisa Rae Bryan was charged with second-degree murder and obstruction of justice in the November 2016 death of daughter Isabella Powrozek

By Christine Pelisek
March 21, 2018 07:08 PM
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A Michigan mother pleaded guilty on Tuesday to involuntary manslaughter in the 2016 suffocation death of her 1-month-old daughter — the second time she has been implicated in the death of one of her children, PEOPLE confirms.

Before her plea, Lisa Rae Bryan, 32, had been charged with second-degree murder and obstruction of justice in the Nov. 1, 2016, death of Isabella Powrozek.

“Like all cases of this nature, it’s tough,” Emmet County, Michigan, prosecutor Jim Linderman told the Detroit Free Press. “It’s a case where it’s based on circumstantial evidence and statements made by the mother. It’s a tough case to prove.”

According to Bryan’s plea agreement, which was obtained by PEOPLE, Bryan acknowledged that she knowingly disregarded “safe sleep practices” after she fell asleep while hugging Isabella to her chest.

“When I woke up, she was not breathing and in fact had died, as a result of suffocation,” Bryan stated, according to her plea agreement.

Police said Bryan told investigators that “at some point she [Isabella] was in my arms and I cuddled her too hard” and “just take me to jail,” a Emmet County Sheriff’s Office complaint states.

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Credit: Emmet County Sheriff’s Office

Bryan also admitted that another infant daughter, Hannah, who was 50 days old, died in September 2010 in Oklahoma, after Bryan fell asleep in a bathtub with her and the baby girl drowned.

Bryan was charged with second-degree murder in Hannah’s death but was convicted of manslaughter. She served about 15 months, MLive.com reports.

Police began investigating Isabella’s death after Bryan called 911 to say she was unresponsive. Bryan was interviewed several times, according to authorities, and “significant elements of [her] statement changed repeatedly during the investigation.”

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The complaint states that Bryan first told police that Isabella was found unresponsive in her sleeper. But Bryan later admitted “she provided false or misleading information to avoid prosecution for negligence.”

“Lisa eventually admitted to waking up to Isabella’s face ‘smashed against her breast,’ ” the complaint states.

Bryan’s attorney could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

Her sentencing is scheduled for April 24.