A 25-year-old Winter Haven, Florida, woman is facing an aggravated manslaughter charge after her newborn child died while in bed with her. This is the second baby she’s lost as the result of co-sleeping, according to authorities.
The woman’s first child died in 2009 approximately two weeks after her birth when the woman reportedly fell asleep while breastfeeding her. Authorities with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office say the woman had been counseled about the dangers of co-sleeping with an infant before she gave birth.
According to Sheriff’s officials, that baby’s death was caused by asphyxia “due to probably overlaying and co-sleeping. It was determined to be an accident.
Last July, while pregnant with her son, the woman was arrested when deputies reportedly found her in a car with drug paraphernalia and methamphetamine residue. She told officers she hadn’t used the drug in more than two years. Ultimately, she wasn’t charged with a crime.
While pregnant with the second child, who was born in September, deputies say the woman received repeated warnings from hospital personnel and family members about the dangers of sleeping with a newborn and went to safe sleeping counseling.
However, less than three weeks after giving birth to her son, the woman allegedly once again fell asleep while feeding her baby and found him unresponsive when she awoke, just as she had with the first child.
The aggravated manslaughter charge she is facing is a first-degree felony. Deputies say that the baby died because of his mother’s was “culpable negligence.”
Obviously, deaths like these are a tragedy. However, in some cases, rehabilitation may be a better, more effective solution than a lengthy prison term. It’s up to Florida criminal defense attorneys to protect their clients rights and work toward the best outcome for them.