Friday, September 22, 2006

Worst Mom Ever

This story really is one of the worst I have ever heard. An accident, I'm sure, but still. People who believe that kids should be learning abstinence instead of learning about birth control options should really be forced to read this article and/or talk to this "mother":

Teen Mom Arraigned in Horrific Baby Death at East Harlem Shelter

Friday September 22, 2006
by Adam Goldman
Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- Four-month-old Niah Ford should have been sleeping in a crib. Instead, her teenage mother after swilling gin put the baby in her bed at their East Harlem homeless shelter.

The decision cost Niah her life. The infant fell into a bucket filled with vomit, water and cleaning solution that was next to the bed.

Savarin DeJesus, 18, was arraigned Friday in Manhattan Criminal Court and charged with criminally negligent homicide and endangering the welfare of a child.

"I loved my baby. I want you to know that," a weeping and visibly shaken DeJesus told the judge during the brief hearing.

The criminal complaint filed against DeJesus revealed more details about the horrific case, and what DeJesus was doing in the hours leading up to Niah's death.

DeJesus told a NYPD detective that she had a date on Sept. 15 and left the infant late that night in the care of a person living at the shelter.

During the course of the evening, DeJesus drank a 20-ounce soda bottle that was filled half with soda and half with gin, according to the complaint.

The next day, at about 3:40 a.m., she returned to the shelter stinking of booze and retrieved her baby. A few minutes later after chatting with some residents of the shelter and smoking cigarettes, she took Niah back to her room and changed her clothing and diaper.

That's when she told police she felt sick and vomited into the bucket next to the bed. She then laid down on the bed and passed out, clutching Niah's legs.

When she awoke between 2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., DeJesus found the baby's head inside the bucket that contained about six inches of liquid. The baby was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.

The cause of death was either asphyxiation or drowning, according to the medical examiner's office. The complaint said the baby smelled strongly of alcohol.

It's not clear if the shelter, called the Fox House, had a crib. A spokeswoman with the city's Department of Homeless Services was trying to determine if the shelter had one available and whether an investigation had been launched into whether the shelter had followed appropriate guidelines.

On Friday, DeJesus' lawyer told the judge that Niah's death was unintentional.

"She loved her baby and would never hurt her," Kenneth Gilbert said.

Gilbert said DeJesus had no criminal record and was taking antidepressants in the wake of Niah's death.

He said his client, who's from Staten Island, was living at the shelter so she could be closer to the baby's father.

DeJesus was being held on a $1,000 cash bail or $3,000 bond. Gilbert expected her to be released Friday.

Associated Press Writer Sam Maull contributed to this story.

1 comment:

Lozo said...

ironically, i have that same bucket next to my bed. go figure.