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Jackson Township mother pleads not guilty by reason of insanity over her 5-year-old daughter's death

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Posted at 9:44 PM, Oct 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-12 21:44:30-04

On Thursday, a Jackson Township mother pleads not guilty by way of insanity over the death of her daughter. 

Mingming Chen is facing a murder charge in the death of 5-year-old Ashley Zhao.

In January, Zhao was found dead in her family's Asian cuisine restaurant. Her parents originally reported that she went to lay down around 5 p.m. on January 9, but when her mom went to check on her around 9:30 p.m., she was gone.

She was later found dead inside the family's restaurant.

Investigators say Chen punched the child several times in the head. The girl's father, Liang Zhao was convicted of obstructing of justice, gross abuse of a corpse, tampering of evidence and child endangerment.

Earlier in September, in exchange for a guilty plea, the murder charge against Zhao was dropped and he agreed to testify against his wife, Mingming Chen.

Chen is due again in court on December 4, at 1:30 p.m.