MOUNT CLEMENS (AP) – A 54-year-old Detroit-area woman sentenced to life in prison has told a judge she killed her 4-year-old granddaughter to prevent the child from being “cut up.”

The Detroit Free Press and The Macomb Daily report Dawn Yorke made the statement Tuesday during her sentencing in Macomb County Circuit Court.

A jury rejected Yorke’s insanity defense and convicted her in November of being guilty but mentally ill.

Linda Marie Steele was strangled in 2009 in her Warren home, north of Detroit.

Yorke said Tuesday she had to kill the girl because “her father would tell her that he’d cut her hand off if she touched anything that wasn’t hers.”

Yorke had been diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic. She will receive psychological care in prison.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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