Felton woman who smothered grandson gets 22 years in prison

DOVER — A 53-year-old Felton woman will spend at least 15 years in prison after admitting to fatally smothering her grandson with a washcloth two years ago.

Angela M. Mossinger pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Thursday afternoon in the death of 3-year-old Rilan M. Everett at her Skinner Lane home on Sept. 18, 2016.

Speaking before Superior Court Resident Judge William L. Witham Jr., who approved the sentence agreement between prosecution and defense, Mossinger said she wasn’t “asking for forgiveness. I can’t ever forgive myself.”

During the 20-minute session, the defendant apologized for the grief she had caused for others and said “No one, and I mean no one, will understand the amount of pain I feel for my beloved grandson.”

‘Seriously overwhelmed’

Mossinger explained that she was “seriously overwhelmed at the thought of being homeless” and “couldn’t think straight” regarding the impact of that on her grandson when she decided to take his life and hers. In earlier court documents filed by Delaware State Police she said she attempted to kill herself by taking pills, hanging herself and drinking bleach.

Rilan’s mother spoke prior to the sentencing and lambasted Mossinger for failing as a mother and grandmother to protect and take care of her child. While Rilan’s mother said she had lived up to Mossinger’s expectations of graduating high school, staying out of trouble and attending nursing school, she chided her for not doing the same.

“You are a selfish, racist, waste of a body and I hope you (wither) away in a (prison) cell,” she said, concluding with “I hope I never see your face again.”

While acknowledging the tremendous sense of loss for everyone when a young child is involved and that it “plays a major factor in all of our hearts,” the judge said his practical duty was to assure that justice was served in the case.

“Perhaps time can heal some issues, perhaps not,” Judge Witham said.

Sentence detailed

The 30-year murder sentence was suspended for 22 years, with 15 years of prison mandated by law. Six months of Level IV work release will follow, then a year of home confinement and one year of Level III probation. The effective sentence began on Sept. 27, 2016 following Mossinger’s arrest.

Mossinger was also ordered to have no contact with any children under age 18 and continue mental health treatment, including taking prescribed medicines. Paying the costs of prosecution and surcharges was also mandated.

Judge Witham urged Mossinger to continue working hard in the prison programs she’s involved in. He noted a report from the prison that she had completed an anger management course and worked for a year.

Addressing the Court, Deputy Attorney General Stephen E. Smith (joined by DAG Marie O. Graham) said, “I do understand she was struggling at this time …

‘World a darker place’

“Delaware should have more than the memories of Rilan. The world is a darker place for her actions and for that we are all made to suffer.”

At Delores J. Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution in New Castle, Mossinger said, she’s received the help for brain damage and mental health issues she needed before the incident.

“I am shocked that I took a life because that’s not who I am,” she said. “I am shocked and shattered because this is my dear grandson …”

Mossinger also recalled happy times bonding with her grandson, including watching birds and squirrels with him as a 1-year-old and seeing kids getting off the schoolbus at ages 2-3, splashing in water puddles at every opportunity, along with watching his favorite movie “Frozen” and enjoying all the songs that came with it.

Angela Mossinger

 

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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