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Chicago mom charged with murder following asphyxiation of daughter, 8, in Uptown: police

Believing her 8-year-old daughter didn’t love her anymore, her mother axphyxiated her after they said prayers before bed in the Uptown neighborhood earlier this week, prosecutors said Friday during the woman’s bond hearing.

Andreal R. Hagler, 38, was charged with first-degree murder and was denied bail before Cook County Judge Maryam Ahmad during a hearing that was live-streamed on YouTube.

Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said Hagler’s brother, who sometimes stayed with them, came to their apartment Wednesday morning in the 4600 block of North Winthrop Avenue to check on Hagler after calling several times and not getting a response.

After finding them in a bed, unresponsive, he called Hagler’s sister, who immediately called 911.

Hagler was face down with a clear plastic bag over her head and “moving a little,” when police and paramedics arrived.

“Two small legs” from the shin down peeked out from a comforter and they found Amari, deceased, Murphy said. Amaria was dead on the scene at 11:23 am, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Murphy said in court the medical examiner’s office ruled Amaria’s death a homicide, after finding she died of multiple injuries, including those consistent with asphyxiation, from an assault.

Hagler, who didn’t appear to be injured but was later found to have PCP in her system, was gripping the mattress and wouldn’t let go, Murphy said.

First responders handcuffed her and lifted her to a chair and then she was wheeled out to an ambulance, said Murphy, who added Hagler never said a word. Hagler had been taken to nearby Weiss Memorial Hospital, where she had been reported in good condition.

A red Solo cup was found in the apartment, which smelled of bleach.

Following her arrest moments after Amari was found, Hagler gave a statement to police indicating she and Amari said their bedtime prayers that night about 8 or 9 pm She told police she drank bleach and believed her daughter didn’t love her anymore and was taking her father’s “side,” Murphy said.

As Amari screamed, “Mommy stop!” Hagler began suffocating her by placing a plastic bag over her head and telling her it was “their time to go,” because they were both born on the 24th, Murphy said.

An attorney representing Hagler asserted there were no witnesses, and said Hagler was not a flight risk. She finished some college courses and works as an occupational therapist. Hagler, who could not afford the bond, suffers from depression, according to the attorney.

According to a Chicago police report, Hagler had a meeting scheduled with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services on Tuesday.

The principal of a nearby elementary school in Uptown sent a letter home Wednesday informing students, parents and guardians a child enrolled at the school had died. The letter did not say the age or gender of the student and it was not immediately clear whether Amaria attended the school.

“This loss is sure to raise many emotions, concerns, and questions for the entire school, especially our students. The Chicago Public Schools’ crisis management unit will work with our own counselor, social worker, and psychologist to provide grief counseling and support to students and staff members. If your child expresses any concern(s), please contact us so that we can provide additional support,” the letter said.

Hagler is due back in court on June 15.

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