PHOENIX — A Goodyear woman who pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the 2014 death of her baby daughter has been sentenced to life in prison.

Maricopa County prosecutors say 31-year-old Phoeteama Neal was sentenced Wednesday.

She had changed her plea to guilty in January.

Police say Neal picked up her 21-month-old daughter from daycare in August 2014, filled a bathtub at the family’s home and putting the fully-clothed girl in the water.

They say Neal held the toddler under water for a prolonged period of time, then called 911 to say she had drowned her child.

The girl was taken off of life support the next month and died.

Court documents show Neal was in the middle of a custody battle with the father of the child at the time.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.