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Who Is Regina Lester?

Who Is Regina Lester?

Regina Lester appeared in court this week to please guilty but mentally ill in the 2016 death of her 3-year old daughter. She faces between 20 and 40 years in prison under the terms of her agreement. Sentencing is scheduled for June.

Nearly three years ago Lester was found outside her home in a Pennsylvania trailer park, naked and clinging to the trunk of a tree. She was clearly under the influence of drugs at the time. When authorities took her to a hospital at the time of her arrest, she kicked staff members and faces additional assault charges for that attack.

Inside, the home, police had found the body of Lester's 3-year-old daughter Isabel. A neighbor reported that he had attempted CPR but was unable to revive the child.

What happened Isobel Godfrey? Read on for all the tragic details.

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1. Under the influence

On the day of her daughter’s death, Lester reports that she had been under the influence of multiple drugs. She said when she got home from work, she rolled a marajuana joint laced with other drugs, saying “I had gotten a blunt and put fentanyl in it, and put K2 on top of that and put bath salts on top of that, and rolled it up.” In addition to the illegal drugs, Lester claimed to have been on prescription psychiatric medications for bipolar disorder. The combination of chemicals allegedly caused Lester to black out and she claims to have no memory of what happened next, saying “I was crazy. I wasn't myself — I was crazy." 

Lester was regularly using K2, or synthetic marijuana because she was being monitored and drug-tested by the York County Office of Children, Youth, and Families. At the time, K2 wasn’t a drug they screened for.


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Regina Lester was sentenced to over 20 years in jail for the brutal murder of her daughter, Isabel Lester.

2. Neighbors alarmed

After she killed her daughter in her drug-fueled frenzy, she left the trailer and approached several neighbors. She knocked on one door and told the person who opened it "I need to kill your kids.” Another neighbor found her outside, naked and clinging to a tree, where she said “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to do it. You understand I had to get the darkness out of her. I’m sorry.”

One of the neighbors went inside and found Isabel. He attempted CPR but realized it was futile. He then assisted police with apprehending and subduing Lester.

3. Drop the charges

Lawyers for Lester had hoped to get the charges dropped on the grounds that she was so incapacitated by the drugs that she could not have formed the intent required to commit the crimes due to her “impaired mental state/insanity. However, because she took the drugs voluntarily, she didn’t meet the state’s requirement for an insanity defense. The judge denied the request.

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4. Mitigating factors

Lester’s drug use wasn’t new and she had been monitor for some time. Her lawyer also claimed that she had been in a car crash when she was younger, which caused traumatic brain injuries. After the crash, she was treated for mental illnesses.

The lawyer says that the list of prescribed medications Lester has to take is “huge” and she will remain heavily medicated for the rest of her life.

5. Cause of death

Regardless of Lester’s mental state, there is no escaping that her daughter died a violent and brutal death. Her body showed multiple signs of trauma, including multiple blunt force trauma, multiple bite wounds, and trauma associated with asphyxia.

6. Lesser charge

Because of the intoxication, Lester was allowed to please guilty to third degree murder instead of first degree murder. Her official plea to the crime was guilty but mentally ill. She will be sentenced to between 20 and 40 years in prison in June. Had she been convicted of first degree murder, she would have faced life behind bars.

Lester’s lawyers say she is remorseful now and misses Isabel as well as her remaining children.

"She does feel bad (and) she misses her kids. I don't even know when she realized her daughter was dead and that she did it.” She went on to say ““Every day, she lives with, ‘No more daughter.’”

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Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. Her work has been seen at Ravishly, Babble, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Redbook online, and The Broad Side. She is the creator of the blog Stay at Home Pundit and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.