Teri Rhodes, a 22-year-old Commerce Township native, will spend 40 months in prison for smothering her newborn daughter in August 2007.
Rhodes, a former volleyball player at Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pa., hid her pregnancy and left her baby in her Erie campus apartment immediately after it was born.
Pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter, Rhodes was previously sentenced to a minimum of nine years in prison. However, before she began to serve that sentence, it was overturned on appeal in December when a Pennsylvania Superior Court panel found that Erie County Judge William Cunningham had abused his discretion with the initial sentence.
On Friday, Feb. 4, Rhodes was sentenced by a different judge, who followed the state guidelines calling for a minimum sentence of three to 4.5 years in prison.
Rhodes’ baby was found dead on Sunday, Aug. 12, 2007, inside a plastic bag on the shower floor in Rhodes’ campus apartment. Rhodes, a volleyball player for Mercyhurst College in Erie, Penn., Rhodes allegedly gave birth to a girl and was later taken to a local hospital complaining of severe abdominal pain.
Officials reportedly found the infant sometime after Rhodes was taken to the hospital. After initially denying she had been pregnant, Rhodes allegedly conceded that she had given birth to the child.
Police confiscated Rhodes’ computer and stated recent Internet searches allegedly had been conducted on, among other things, “what can kill a fetus.”