Mom charged in NY girl's death denies harming her

May 8, 2012 - 6:35 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — A Brooklyn mother accused of starving, drugging and beating her 4-year-old daughter to death says she never harmed the child.

Carlotta Brett-Pierce acknowledged at her trial Monday that the girl "had lost weight," but said she "didn't look bad."

Brett-Pierce and her mother, Loretta Brett, are charged with murder in the death of Marchella (mar-CHELL'-uh) in September of 2010. She weighed half what a child her age should, and had bruises and cuts on her body.

The defendants have pleaded not guilty and say they were doing the best they could.

The outcome of the murder trial may have repercussions for the child welfare workers once assigned to the family. They were charged with criminally negligent homicide and have also pleaded not guilty.