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  1. #1
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    GA - Couple On Trial for Being Too Drunk to Notice SIDS

    http://www.ajc.com/news/content/shar...ge_tab_newstab


    I in no way think it is good to get loaded while caring for a two-month-old, but how the heck can anyone be prosecuted for failing to notice SIDS. By its very nature, SIDS kills children and catches parents unawares every day. I don't understand these charges.
    I do not intend to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death!

  2. #2
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    ITA with you. I read the article and just scratched my head. I could understand charging the Mom with something if they have found she breast fed the baby while under the influence.
    This could be a very bad awful thing, because it would open doors for other parents to be charged.
    You won't cry for my absence, I know -
    You forgot me long ago. Am I that unimportant...?
    Am I so insignificant...? Isn't something missing?
    Isn't someone missing me?
    Evanescence
    Please take a moment to see Deanna's Age progression here:
    http://www.missingkids.com/missingki...archLang=en_US
    Deanna Merryfield-missing from Killeen,Tx since July 1990
    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=106164

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissieMt View Post
    ITA with you. I read the article and just scratched my head. I could understand charging the Mom with something if they have found she breast fed the baby while under the influence.
    This could be a very bad awful thing, because it would open doors for other parents to be charged.
    That was my thought too, MM. Of course, the Mom could and should be charged if she passed drugs/alcohol through breast milk to the child. But to try to get them for not noticing SIDS - I think that's a bad call.
    I do not intend to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death!

  4. #4
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    my sister died of sids at 6 weeks that is just something that happens for unknown reasons.the parents probably feel horrible .but to charge them is just wrong unless the mother fed the baby breast milk while she was loaded .. but the dad shouldnt be charged if that is the case

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by zadari View Post
    my sister died of sids at 6 weeks that is just something that happens for unknown reasons.the parents probably feel horrible .but to charge them is just wrong unless the mother fed the baby breast milk while she was loaded .. but the dad shouldnt be charged if that is the case
    I'm sorry to hear about your sister, zadari. SIDS is a sad thing. If I were on this jury, I couldn't hold the parents responsible for not noticing it.
    I do not intend to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death!

  6. #6
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    Mar 2005
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    "they were too drunk and high to notice their 2-month-old daughter was dying from sudden infant death syndrome."

    Snipped from article. I don't know anything about SIDS, can you actually see a child dying from SIDS or is it sudden death as the name implies?

    I do wish they would have had a babysitter in the house even if they planned on partying at home. It's not a bad idea to have a sober person present, it might be an inconvenience but could be a lifesaver in some cases.

    Until more comes to light in this case, I am inclined to agree with you both in regards to the charges.

  7. #7
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    I also wish they had hired a babysitter or something, and I bet they wish they had also. But unless they stood at their babies crib and monitor their breathing 24/7 I don't see how they could have prevented it.
    You won't cry for my absence, I know -
    You forgot me long ago. Am I that unimportant...?
    Am I so insignificant...? Isn't something missing?
    Isn't someone missing me?
    Evanescence
    Please take a moment to see Deanna's Age progression here:
    http://www.missingkids.com/missingki...archLang=en_US
    Deanna Merryfield-missing from Killeen,Tx since July 1990
    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=106164

  8. #8
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    I had to go google another article because that one just didn't make sense...I couldn't imagine why they would bring charges like that!

    Then I found this one:

    http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2009/04/...4271239727513/

    An autopsy showed the baby died of sudden infant death syndrome...


    Gaster told police she had consumed no more than five beers when she fell asleep after breast feeding the baby and awoke to find her facedown and unresponsive on a recliner between Gaster's left leg and arm.

    A witness, however, testified she and Gaster allegedly drank about a quarter-gallon of vodka each and snorted cocaine with Martin while sharing a 30-pack of 12-ounce beers with a fourth person, Scott Ohler. The witness, Michelle Jordan, and Ohler were not charged in the case.
    I still don't see how they can hold this couple responsible for the death of a child by SIDS though, it looks to be a natural death.

    Another link is this one:

    Trooper Joseph W. Panepinto testified yesterday that an autopsy revealed Lilly died of sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS. The manner of death is listed as natural, he said...

    ...She told the trooper she believes she fell asleep the morning of June 6, after having breast fed the baby while seated in a recliner. She awoke and found the infant facedown and unresponsive on the recliner between her left leg and arm...

    ...Jordan testified she called Fayette 911. Panepinto testified that in a recording of that call obtained from Fayette 911, Gaster is heard remarking in the background that she was "so (expletive) drunk last night."
    I'm still confused. The COD was listed as natural but they want to charge the parents?
    "Three things in human life are important: The first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind." ~ Henry James

  9. #9
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    Thanks for doing some more research, Kat - it just makes it more confusing. It seems like the Pros could maybe make a case that the Mother got loaded and passed out and accidentally suffocated the infant, but that's not SIDS.
    I do not intend to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by southcitymom View Post
    That was my thought too, MM. Of course, the Mom could and should be charged if she passed drugs/alcohol through breast milk to the child. But to try to get them for not noticing SIDS - I think that's a bad call.
    I just can't imagine this case going anywhere. I'm scratching my head along with the rest of you. It's not smart to drink or do drugs around a baby, but this baby had no alcohol or drugs in its blood......and SIDS is by its very nature extremely difficult to detect. (I had a little great niece who died of SIDS while being rocked by her doting Mommy. ) The sheer number of babies who die each year of SIDS tells us that it OFTEN happens when one's back is turned.....

    These parents may be guilty of substance abuse, they may be stupid, but they did not cause the baby's death.

    The case should be dropped.


  11. #11
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    If the infant was face down between her leg and arm then the baby could have smothered. Why would an infant be face down beside someone's leg. Maybe they can't prove some other type death so they're going with failure to notice SIDS.

  12. #12
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    Jul 2008
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    Well, there are risk factors for SIDS, and one of them is putting the baby to sleep on its stomach.

    I don't think that putting your baby to sleep on its stomach should be prosecutable, but let's say she drank five beers and then breastfed, and then fell into a deep sleep. The baby then fell into a deeper than usual sleep on its stomach. That would definitely increase the SIDS risk.

    I think drinking five of anything while breastfeeding is a special kind of irresponsible, and if she did drink that much vodka (cocaine notwithstanding) I think neglect charges should be brought, and potentially manslaughter. Not because the baby died of SIDS, but because the baby might still be alive if not for the parents actions/inaction. It's a misnomer that SIDS is always totally random. There are things you can do to increase and decrease the risk. If this baby ended up on its face because her parents were too drunk or high to notice her falling onto the sofa, then shame on them. They helped cause this.

    I mean, yes, there are SIDS deaths that occur even when the parents seemed to do everything right, but there are many that might not have occurred if a fan had been on, or if the baby had been in a sleep positioner, or if the mattress had been firmer or if the baby had been in the same room as the parents (babies often sleep lighter when they hear mom breathing)--you can't blame the parents in most cases, though, unless the parents are ignorant enough to breastfeed and handle their baby while drinking alcohol and snorting cocaine. Then I say charges should be brought.

    I'm not asking for Murder One, but maybe negligent homicide if the evidence is there.

  13. #13
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    Jan 2007
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    I agree with you MomofBoys, it is all so confusing. And even if they want to say putting the baby to sleep on its stomach is a risk factor I think that is arguable also. The "proper" way to put a baby to sleep has changed many times over the years and a good defense attorney could have it thrown out IF that is the prosecutors main argument.
    You won't cry for my absence, I know -
    You forgot me long ago. Am I that unimportant...?
    Am I so insignificant...? Isn't something missing?
    Isn't someone missing me?
    Evanescence
    Please take a moment to see Deanna's Age progression here:
    http://www.missingkids.com/missingki...archLang=en_US
    Deanna Merryfield-missing from Killeen,Tx since July 1990
    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=106164

  14. #14
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    Jul 2004
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    Dana Point,CA
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    The charge is child endangerment. Getting drunk and doing blow while watching a baby qualifies, imo. I could understand the confusion if they were charged with manslaughter or something, but this is endangerment.
    I think they could be charged with that even if the child was unharmed couldn't they?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBean View Post
    The charge is child endangerment. Getting drunk and doing blow while watching a baby qualifies, imo. I could understand the confusion if they were charged with manslaughter or something, but this is endangerment.
    I think they could be charged with that even if the child was unharmed couldn't they?
    That's a good point, JBean - I still think the SIDS (termed as dying of natural causes on the autopsy report) is very misleading.
    I do not intend to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death!

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