The mother of a 2-year-old girl whose body was found in a Houston bayou in 2020 has pleaded guilty for her role in the child’s death, according to court records.
Sahara Ervin, 22, pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence, a human corpse, during a court hearing Wednesday as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors.
According to her family, Maliyah Bass had been playing in the playground of her apartment complex Aug. 22, 2020, when she went missing. A day later, a jogger spotted her body in Brays Bayou just southeast of the University of Houston and about 17 miles (27 kilometers) west of Maliyah’s home.
Police arrested Ervin and her boyfriend, 23-year-old Travion Thompson, and charged them both with injury to a child and tampering with evidence.
Medical examiners ruled Maliyah’s death a homicide. Thompson alleged that Ervin beat the girl with a hairbrush for not going to bed, according to court records. The girl was forced to sleep in a closet and was found dead the next morning, authorities said.
Under the plea agreement, Ervin could be called to testify against Thompson, who has not been scheduled for trial. Prosecutors will recommend a 20-year prison sentence for Ervin as part of the agreement. Ervin is set to be sentenced on June 1.
Thompson, who remains jailed, is scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 11.