Sosefina Amoa pleads guilty to baby's death at convent

(WJLA) - A Samoan woman studying to become a nun has pleaded guilty to killing her newborn son at a convent in Northeast Washington.

Sosefina Amoa, 26, arrived in the United States from Samoa on Oct. 5 and moved into the Little Sisters of the Poor convent, an international congregation of Roman Catholic women who provide worldwide service to the elderly poor. She moved into the convent to receive religious classes, learn doctrine, experience prayer and community life, and care for residents.

On Oct. 10, Amoa gave birth at the convent. The following morning, police say she contacted one of the Sisters and showed her the baby boy. The Sister knew that the infant was dead.

Amoa later told police that she hid the birth from the Sisters. In fear that someone would hear crying and learn of her pregnancy, Amoa told police she placed a wool garment over the baby's nose and mouth.

According to the Office of the Medical Examiner, the infant died of asphyxia.

The prosecutor handling the case said she would ask for a sentence of at least four years but no more than 10 years in prison. Sentencing is set for May 23.