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  1. #1
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    UT - Kayson Merrill, 3 mos, dies while co-sleeping, South Jordan, 19 Aug 2006

    Appeals court refused to dismiss crim. chgs of child abuse homicide & reckless endangerment
    against parents, now both age 28, in death of their baby.
    In 2006, the 3 mo. old, too young to turn over himself, died while co-sleeping w. parents in South Jordan UT.

    The court wrote: "Utah courts have previously approved of experts relying on their training and knowledge
    to provide opinions that do not amount to medical certainty."

    Ct said, tho ME/autopsy report said cause of death = undetermined,
    there was suff. evd that showed that co-sleeping caused the baby's death.
    I understand that to mean, even tho co-sleeping was not the C of D to a med. certainty,
    that a jury could find co-sleeping to be the C of D.

    This couple's first child also died in 2003, while co-sleeping with them.
    App. ct. said evd of the first child's death cd be admitted at trial, to show parents' awareness of risks of co-sleeping.

    Tragic losing one baby.
    Tragic losing two babies.
    Esp. tragic losing a baby like that, but even more so, two.
    I wonder if there were other contributing factors.

    http://mycenturylink.com/news/read.p....org%3E&ps=931

  2. #2
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    It seems like if one baby died while co-sleeping that they would be sure not to co-sleep with another baby to be sure to be safe.

  3. #3
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    I hope the charges are pursued, and I hope they are convicted, and I hope they do time. Every single parent, of every single child, born in every single hospital, in every single state, is given the same basic set of dos and don'ts. Don't smoke around the baby. Don't let them sleep in the same bed. Don't let them sleep with anything in their bed, like blankets or toys. Don't put them to sleep on their stomachs. Common sense, IMO.

    One of their children had already died from this idiotic, dangerous practice. You would think that the tragedy of that would have been enough to keep them from doing it again. The first time, I can believe a genuine mistake. The second time, criminally negligent stupidity.

    When you are released from the hospital with the baby, you run through a checklist with the nurses. Does baby have a car seat? Where will baby sleep? If you do not answer correctly, they will counsel on how to handle things before you are released.

    It doesn't matter how tired you are, how much you want to bond, whether you are breastfeeding or not, babies go in their own enclosed area to sleep. Period. Every single co-sleeping death is 100% preventable. Preventable death at the hands and while under the watch of a parent, should be a crime. Why did it take our system this long to figure that out?
    JMO. Unless there's a link, I can't prove it.

  4. #4
    Etilema's Avatar
    Etilema is offline Being kind to the cruel results in being cruel to the kind.
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    We engaged in co-sleeping with each of our six babies. We studied and learned about the safety of it beforehand. It is not an uncommon practice historically and worldwide. The majority of cases where a baby's death is actually attributable to co-sleeping involve obese parents and/or parents who are on drugs or alcohol.

    Just as there are safety measures to keep in mind for cribs, high chairs, etc., there are things to be aware of when co-sleeping. Safety precautions for co-sleeping include not putting a very young baby between the two parents or between a parent and a wall, but rather on the outside next to mom (with an open guardrail on the side, if necessary), and without excessive bedding.

    Babies also die in cribs for unknown reasons, yet we say that cribs are safe. A case could be made that having newborns sleep isolated from their mothers contributes to this.

    My opinion is that specifics of individual cases need to be examined (e.g., were the parents impaired in any way, or otherwise careless), as well as statistical comparisons with deaths from unknown causes in babies who were not co-sleeping.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Etilema View Post
    We engaged in co-sleeping with each of our six babies. We studied and learned about the safety of it beforehand. It is not an uncommon practice historically and worldwide. The majority of cases where a baby's death is actually attributable to co-sleeping involve obese parents and/or parents who are on drugs or alcohol.

    Just as there are safety measures to keep in mind for cribs, high chairs, etc., there are things to be aware of when co-sleeping. Safety precautions for co-sleeping include not putting a very young baby between the two parents or between a parent and a wall, but rather on the outside next to mom (with an open guardrail on the side, if necessary), and without excessive bedding.

    Babies also die in cribs for unknown reasons, yet we say that cribs are safe. A case could be made that having newborns sleep isolated from their mothers contributes to this.

    My opinion is that specifics of individual cases need to be examined (e.g., were the parents impaired in any way, or otherwise careless), as well as statistical comparisons with deaths from unknown causes in babies who were not co-sleeping.

    Thank you! More people just need better education.

  6. #6
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    It's not about education. CPS removes infants that co-sleep. unless the practice is carefully controlled. The American Pediatrics Association has addressed the danger. Hospitals warn parents not to do it. In 2009, 167 infants died while co sleeping with parents in the state of TX alone. Studies in Britain have revealed that more than half of SIDS deaths occurred while a child was co-sleeping with an adult. Any death that occurs while a child is co-sleeping is immediately referred to CPS so that the safety of other children can be evaluated, since co-sleeping is considered to be so unsafe, as to pose imminent risk.

    What more do parents need?

    How many more have to die before people start to get it?
    JMO. Unless there's a link, I can't prove it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by al66pine View Post
    Appeals court refused to dismiss crim. chgs of child abuse homicide & reckless endangerment
    against parents, now both age 28, in death of their baby.
    In 2006, the 3 mo. old, too young to turn over himself, died while co-sleeping w. parents in South Jordan UT.

    The court wrote: "Utah courts have previously approved of experts relying on their training and knowledge
    to provide opinions that do not amount to medical certainty."

    Ct said, tho ME/autopsy report said cause of death = undetermined,
    there was suff. evd that showed that co-sleeping caused the baby's death.
    I understand that to mean, even tho co-sleeping was not the C of D to a med. certainty,
    that a jury could find co-sleeping to be the C of D.

    This couple's first child also died in 2003, while co-sleeping with them.
    App. ct. said evd of the first child's death cd be admitted at trial, to show parents' awareness of risks of co-sleeping.

    Tragic losing one baby.
    Tragic losing two babies.
    Esp. tragic losing a baby like that, but even more so, two.
    I wonder if there were other contributing factors.

    http://mycenturylink.com/news/read.p....org%3E&ps=931
    Also from above link-
    He was too young to roll over on his own as a baby, evidence that "supports a reasonable inference that Trevor Merrill actually caused the infant to stop breathing by co-sleeping," according to the court's opinion.

    I'm not going to get in an argument here but there are babies that turn themselves over earlier. My son was one. At 2mos 1 week my little guy could turn himself over on his stomach and then roll back over on his back. Then he'd roll over to his stomach the other way. Everyone said it was amazing. This was back before anyone knew about sleep positioners, etc. But knowing that I'm not sure how they're going to get past reasonable doubt.

    This is just my opinion based on my experience and if I were on the jury.
    About the time we can make ends meet, somebody moves the ends. Herbert Hoover

  8. #8
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    I believed in co sleeping and did so with each of my 5 babies. It is only by the grace of God that nothing happened to my son because in 1985 I did not know what I know now. I slept in a waterbed, which is a big no no. He was a very fussy baby and would not go to sleep if he wasn't nursing. He woke me up one night and I put him on my breast on top of a pillow. I woke up on top of the pillow and I couldn't find him. He was face down, on the waterbed, under the pillow that I was on top of. I was sure he was dead but he was perfectly fine. Talk about God looking after fools. You would think I would have stopped sleeping with my babies but I didn't learn. Thankfully all 5 are alive and well but for the grace of God that could have happened to me.

  9. #9
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    I believed in co sleeping and did so with each of my 5 babies. It is only by the grace of God that nothing happened to my son because in 1985 I did not know what I know now. I slept in a waterbed, which is a big no no. He was a very fussy baby and would not go to sleep if he wasn't nursing. He woke me up one night and I put him on my breast on top of a pillow. I woke up on top of the pillow and I couldn't find him. He was face down, on the waterbed, under the pillow that I was on top of. I was sure he was dead but he was perfectly fine. Talk about God looking after fools. You would think I would have stopped sleeping with my babies but I didn't learn. Thankfully all 5 are alive and well but for the grace of God that could have happened to me.

  10. #10
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    This story really frightened me. While we did not normally participate in co-sleeping, there were times in the summer that we did bring our daughter into our bed when she was an infant. Our apartment had only 2 air conditioners. One in the living room and one in our bedroom. My daughters room would be so hot that she couldn't sleep, so sometimes we would have to put her into our bed. Now, I feel very lucky nothing bad happened, especially since it was a water bed. Had I known about these deaths back then, I would have found some other option some how. Really scary.


  11. #11
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    Arrow Age When Baby Can Roll Over,

    http://mycenturylink.com/news/read.p....org%3E&ps=931
    He was too young to roll over on his own as a baby,..."


    tired blondy posted:
    "... babies that turn themselves over earlier. My son was one. At 2mos 1 week my little guy could turn himself over on his stomach and then roll back over on his back. Then he'd roll over to his stomach the other way."
    .................................................. ......................................

    to tiredblondy & others:

    1. BABY & ROLLING OVER
    No question from me about age at which your baby rolled over.
    "Early" "average" or "normal" and "late" developing babies rollover at a range of ages.

    I wonder if prosctr proferred evd that THIS BABY had never rolled over before.
    Hard to tell, because of the article's wording:
    "He was too young to roll over on his own as a baby, evidence that..."
    Not clear whether there was evd about this baby, or 'normal' babies.

    Article continues: "evidence that 'supports a reasonable inference that Trevor
    'supports a reasonable inference that Trevor Merrill actually caused the infant to stop breathing by co-sleeping,'
    according to the court's opinion."

    2. REASONABLE DOUBT & REASONABLE INFERENCE
    tiredblondy posted:
    "...But knowing that I'm not sure how they're going to get past reasonable doubt.
    This is just my opinion based on my experience and if I were on the jury."

    to tiredblondy
    I'm not sure who the above "they" is. Prosectr or jury?

    If I understand the appellate issue correctly, the app ct decided, as a matter of law,
    that there was sufficient for a jury to find (i.e., could find, did not have to find) the baby could not rollover by himself, and
    could find as a reasonable inference, that co-sleeping parents caused the baby's death. Or not.

    TY, tiredblondy. I like W/S because so many posters give benefit of their experiences for others
    who have had no exp (me) or different exp in same area (baby rolling age).

    In any case, a tragic death.
    Hoping and praying for justice for baby and all involved.
    Last edited by al66pine; 01-10-2012 at 03:31 PM. Reason: add link, clarify wording

  12. #12
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    I believe this parents knew of the risks and continued without a care knowing what had happened the first time around. JMO

  13. #13
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    Hi al66pine

    I meant the jury. I specifically meant if I were on the jury. Thanks for asking.

    I know they lost a baby before and now this one. I understand why the charges.

    My hang up is (of course this is being based on the articles I've read such as one of you referenced) they seem to be focusing on age a baby turns over plus the cause of death is "undetermined". I would need to know what the sufficient evidence was for sure. It does sound like there is a sufficient amount of it if the Grand Jury went with it. I guess we'll find out. All I was saying in my post earlier was based on "the baby was too young to turn over" and the cause of death being "undetermined" there's a reasonable doubt area to me. There will be jurors like me and others who have slept with their child many times and nothing happened, thank goodness. Can they prove that's the only way the child could have died?

    I'm simply playing devil's advocate here and maybe reasonable doubt will not be an issue but I am assuming homicide is murder? I also suspect that one of the jurors will say "haven't they suffered enough?"
    About the time we can make ends meet, somebody moves the ends. Herbert Hoover

  14. #14
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    tiredblondy posted:
    "...I'm simply playing devil's advocate here..."


    Me too.

    And I bet your baby is a cutie.

  15. #15
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    I co-slept with every one of my babies. Nursing mom. Some were a waterbed, some a regular bed. I truly feel blessed and lucky, knowing what we know now. Is there perhaps a connection between nursing and co-sleeping versus bottle fed and co-sleeping?

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