- Associated Press - Saturday, October 31, 2015

SALEM, N.J. (AP) - A southern New Jersey woman is headed to prison for beating another woman in front of her young child, an attack the toddler tried to stop by kicking his mother’s assailant.

Latia Harris received a three-year state prison sentence Friday. That came after a judge rejected defense motions to withdraw or modify the plea deal the 26-year-old Salem woman had reached with prosecutors.

Harris had pleaded guilty in April to aggravated assault charges. She will have to serve about 32 months before she becomes eligible for parole.

Harris turned herself in shortly after a videotape of the June 2014 attack surfaced. Authorities said she pummeled the mother of a toddler in the face and kicked her in the back.

Several people watched as the assailant threatened to attack the mother’s 2-year-old son, who yelled and kicked Harris’ legs in a futile effort to stop the violence.

The victim suffered impaired vision in her left eye and other injuries in the attack, authorities have said.

The assault took place in a field between a McDonald’s restaurant and an apartment complex in Salem, a small city about 30 miles southwest of Philadelphia. Police received a call from the guardhouse outside the apartments and arrived to find the mother disoriented, confused and bleeding from the face. The mother, who used to work at the McDonald’s, said she had a broken nose and a mild concussion.

She told officers that a McDonald’s employee had accused her of spreading rumors about her and her manager, authorities have said.

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