Miriam Nebot cropped

Miriam Nebot
SCI Cambridge Springs

DOB December 19, 1986
Wrongfully Convicted of Murdering her own child. (The child was killed by her husband.)
Pleaded guilty to third degree murder and expected a short sentence.
Sentenced to 17~35 years.

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My name is Miriam Nebot. I am currently incarcerated in SCI Muncy with a sentence of 17 – 39 years. I feel my sentence is unjustifiable. If I have a little of your time, I would like to share, just briefly, my story.

When I was 18 years old, I met a guy, Kevin Mitchell Jr. He was smart, funny, charming. The things that I wanted in a man. We dated, and I fell in love – hard and quick. We moved in with each other. Immediately, I became pregnant. I was 19 years old, happy, and starting a family.

Slowly another side of Kevin showed. The short tempered side, the possessive side, the controlling side. Whether it was over something big or small,it showed through.

I remember the first time, during an argument in the kitchen, he shoved me. I mean really shocked me with force. I practically landed on top of the stove. That same night he punched a hole in our front door. This the result of an argument about me getting too friendly with his aunt's boyfriend. But even though it was frightening, I truly believe this was love. This was how he showed his love. He loved me so much he couldn't control or contain it. And he said as much.

Over time the abuse continued, but I thought it was manageable. During the pregnancy, he didn't hit my stomach. So I thought that was okay. Somehow an act of love toward our unborn child.

Then Zaraiyah Angelina Mitchell was born November, 4th, 2007. That was when our relationship really went from bad to worse. It was like she was the "problem." He angered more easily, was always on a short fuse, and the abuse worsened. He blackened my eyes, busted my nose, and on more than one occasion, bruised my ribs, and would choke me to the point of passing out.

But I never called the cops or asked for help. In a lot of ways, I thought this was normal. I saw my mother and stepsister go through it. And I felt if I hadn't "done this" or "said that" none of it would've happened
Kevin expressed he didn't feel a connection to our daughter and that sometimes he felt left out. Although I found it odd, I tried my hardest to understand. To put myself in his shoes.

That's when I noticed things on Zaraiyah. She was about two months old. A lump on her upper thigh and light marks that appear to be bite marks on her skin, breaking through the first layer. When I questioned Kevin, he said it was due to rough play. He said he didn't mean it and would be more careful. And I believed him. I trusted him with her.

Everything was good for a while and I started working again- a part-time waitressing job at Red Robin. Kevin was going to school at Empire to get his cosmetology license. So during the day, I was at home and at night he was home with Zaraiyah. It seemed to be working out.

Then injuries began. Some bruising to her arm and leg that Kevin said was from a fall off the couch. Then one day Kevin called me from work. He wanted me to come home immediately. I asked why? He explained that Zaraiyah had an overflowing diaper which leaked all over her clothes. So he ran the bath to wash her off.

Supposedly, he checked the water temperature which was fine. Then he put her under the water. She started screaming and he pulled her out. But her stomach and upper thigh were burned. I asked him how bad he played it down like she was okay. So I instructed him to go to the store, buy some antibiotics, and I'll be home as soon as I can.

After my shift, Kevin came to pick me up. Zaraiyah was in her car seat sleeping. I asked how she was and he said she was okay and explained the story again. Finally, when I arrived home, I took Zaraiyah out of the car seat, and looked at the burns. It was worse than I thought. The burns went through the first couple of layers of skin and she was in pain.

I didn't really know what to do. I just cried and held her. A part of me believed it was an accidnt, but another part of me just didn't understand how so many accidents could happen one after another.

She was only about 5 1/2 months old at this time. Didn't he understand that she was fragile? Was he just a little too rough? But what do I do now? Call the doctor? Take her to the hospital? I didn't feel it was an option. What if they take Zaraiyah away? What if they take Kevin to jail? By this point I was so codependent and felt so trapped. So I decided to keep the incident a secret. The worst decision of my life.

After this happened, I avoided doctors appointments, stayed away from family and friends until she healed. I still continued working, and I did continue to keep her with Kevin. I felt there wasn't a choice. His family didn't help out much, my family worked, and had family of their own. Paying a babysitter was out of the question – I just couldn't afford it, and I had to work.

I'm going to fast forward it to a month later. When everything happened, Zaraiyah was about 6 1/2 months old, and started teething. Although we were doing everything we could, she was still in pain. It was hard to put her to bed. She eventually fell asleep, in the middle of the night she woke up. She wasn't crying, but she was babbling. Throughout the night, I felt Kevin get out of bed to check on her and then come back to bed. Later on I felt him do it again and then I heard her screaming. I jolted up and went to Zaraiyah's room. It was very dark and all I could make out was Kevin wrapping her in a blanket. I took her from him, convinced that something happened.

I didn't see him do anything, but later I saw she had bite marks on her cheek, chin, shoulder, and back intentional, hurtful bites. At that time, I didn't know anything else happens. I didn't leave out of fear. I just felt paralyzed.

The next day she was acting different, sleeping a lot, not really eating, and running a fever. I thought the fever was associated with her teething. I gave her baby Tylenol and continued to monitor.

The next day, I knew something was wrong. She wasn't moving. Her breathing seemed shallow, and her eyes were open, but looking at nothing. I wanted to go to the hospital then, but Kevin wouldn't let me. Saying she might get better, just give it some time. I was scared to cross him. I felt so torn, so divided. Later that day my child died. And months later I found out she suffered head trauma-the official cause of death.

I later took an open plea for 3rd degree murder. Under the assumption I would be getting a 6 to 12 year sentence, and because my fear of no one understanding my thought process at trial. I received a 15 to 35 year sentence after Kevin angered our judge earlier that day.

I am writing to you not to say that I am completely innocent. I am guilty of not protecting my daughter to my fullest capacity. I just feel I was young and being abused. I don't feel my mind was in the right place. But that did not injure my daughter. And I did not conspire to do this. I did not want this to happen. And I feel none of this was taken into account. Do not be mistaken, I do feel I deserve jail time, but not this much. I love my daughter very much and if there's any way you can help me or give me advice, any advice – it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Miriam Nebot.

Mom, doctor charged in baby's death
Friday July 04, 2008

The Patriot-News

The Lebanon County District Attorney's office has charged Miriam Nebot of Lebanon with homicide, aggravated assault, false reports to law enforcement, endangering the welfare of children and conspiracy in the death of her 6-month-old daughter, Zaraiyah Mitchell, on May 23.

Earlier, the DA's office had charged the child's father, Kevin Mitchell, 21, of Lebanon. In a press conference this afternoon, Lebanon County District Attorney Dave Arnold said Nebot is being charged with homicide not because it is thought she physically caused Zaraiyah's death but because she failed to prevent it.
"She was the child's mother and she was responsible for it.
She was fully aware her child was in a life threatening situation and did nothing," Arnold said.
Arnold said that Nebot's claim that she was held in her home against her will was found to be false.


Mother waives hearing in death of her baby
Wednesday, July 30, 2008,

Miriam Nebot, 21, waived preliminary hearing on the charges this morning in connection with the death of her six-month-old baby.

A Lebanon woman charged with homicide in connection with the death of her six-month old baby waived a preliminary hearing on the charges this morning.

Miriam Nebot, 21, of Lebanon, also waived a hearing on drug charges filed against her after police said they found drugs in her apartment while investigating the death in May of six-month old Zariyah Mitchell.

Kevin Mitchell, Zariyah's father, was bound over for trial last month. He also waived a hearing on drug charges this morning. Lebanon County District Attorney David Arnold said he is seeking the death penalty for Mitchell.

Mitchell plead not guilty at his arraignment last week.

Also waiving a hearing in connection with Zariyah Mitchell's death was Lekgobo Chimidza, 50, a physician with Good Samaritan Hospital Pediatrics. Prosecutors said Chimidza saw Zariyah in January and other times and did not report her abuse to authorities as required by law.

District Judge Maria Dissinger set bail for Chimidza at $25,000 bail unsecured. That means Chimidza will not have to post bail unless she fails to appear at subsequent hearings.

Police said Zariyah Mitchell died May 24 after being bitten, beaten, scalded and injured in other ways during much of her life. Police said Kevin Mitchell was responsible for most of the physcial abuse.
However, they said Nebot could have sought help for Zariyah and failed to do so.

Miriam Nebot