Kent mother pleads guilty to killing of three-month-old daughter

Chris Ramos

A Kent resident pleaded guilty to killing her three-month-old daughter Tuesday.  

Samantha Knisley was charged with involuntary manslaughter, a first-degree felony. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 11 years imprisonment and a $20,000 fine, judge Laurie J. Pittman said.

The incident occured on Sept. 13, 2017, at Knisley’s home address of 555 Walter St. in Kent, Ohio. An emergency call informed a dispatcher a young baby had stopped breathing. Upon further investigation by the Kent Police Department, it was determined Knisley caused her daughter’s death by laying on top of her. Court documents state she created a substantial risk to the health or safety of her child. She was indicted nine days later for involuntary manslaughter, endangering children and reckless homicide.

The 23-year-old resident of Kent also faces an assault charge which dates back to February 19. Knisley grabbed the hair of another woman during an altercation, which resulted in her ripping the woman’s hair off her scalp. Her court date due is scheduled for June 4 at 11 a.m. at the Portage County Municipal Court for this case.

In regard to her guilty plea for involuntary manslaughter, her sentencing date is not currently available.

Chris Ramos is a general assignment reporter. Contact him at [email protected].