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Woman accused of stabbing mother pleads no contest

Posted at 11:59 AM, Mar 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-27 14:07:01-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Cape Coral woman investigators said stabbed her mother to death pleaded no contest to manslaughter in a Lee County courtroom Friday.

Mariya Kelly was subsequently sentenced to 15 years in prison by a judge, bypassing a jury trial.

Kelly's mother, Melissa West, was reportedly stabbed in the lungs in a June 17, 2020 incident, and later died at a local hospital.

Before her change of plea, Kelly had claimed the stabbing was in self-defense.

"I have already asked her to not act like that in front of my daughter and not to hit me like that,” Kelly had previously said.