Yesterday, there was a pre-trial hearing to determine whether a confession tape from Nixzaliz Santiago about the death of her 7 year old daughter Nixzmary Brown would be allowed. Santiago and her husband Cesar Rodriguez are accused of starving, beating and badly torturing Brown, who died in January.

But before as lawyers were arguing about tape, Santiago surprised her lawyer with a letter, which stated that she wanted to remove him as her counsel. Santiago says that, among many things, lawyer Robert Abrams told her she needed to go to trial or she'd never see her children and that his remarks to the media have created more violence towards her at Rikers. When the judge questioned her, Santiago wasn't sure whether she wanted to keep Abrams or the co-counsel or fire them.

Santiago's confession tape reveals that she was surprised that Brown died from the abuse Rodriguez delivered, which included holding Brown under a faucet and hitting her head against the faucet. Santiago and Rodriguez's trials are scheduled for next month.