Mom pleads guilty to injuries that led to death of 4-year old daughter

Mother reaches plea deal in child's death

A Grand Prairie mother pleaded guilty Wednesday to injuries she inflicted on her 4-year old daughter prior to her death.

In exchange, 31-year old Jeri Quezada has agreed to work with Dallas County prosecutors in the upcoming trial of her boyfriend.

Quezada faced life in prison for the felony charge of injury to a child, but the plea entered Wednesday stipulates she will receive 50 years in prison if she assists the state.

Leiliana Wright died in March 2016 from multiple blunt force trauma injuries after Grand Prairie Police found she had been beaten repeatedly by her mother and boyfriend Charles Phifer while the pair were using drugs.

Her death was the flash point for exposing an understaffed, overworked CPS staff with unmanageable caseloads for child investigators in the Dallas County office.

Two CPS employees were fired, and another resigned.

In the ensuing 16 months, CPS says it has increased the number of investigators in Dallas County from 114 in April 2016 to 213 in April 2017.  During the same time the average number of cases an investigators is handling at once has dropped from 28 to 11.

In Wright's case, the CPS investigator assigned to make a home visit to check on the 4-year old never followed through.

In an April 2016 interview with WFAA from the Dallas County Jail, Phifer denied that he caused the injuries that killed the little girl and said her death came at the hands of her mother alone.

Phifer's trial is set for September 25.

If convicted he faces life in prison.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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