Perhaps we should start requesting licenses to those that want to have babies… From the Associated Press:
Savarin DeJesus spent her Friday night downing gin and smoking cigarettes before returning to the homeless shelter where she and her 4-month old baby girl lived.
The 18-year-old woman went to sleep with the baby at her side, but soon started throwing up in a bucket next to her bed filled with cleaning solution and water.
It ended up costing the baby her life: The infant fell into a puke-filled bucket and died.
DeJesus was 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 trembling DeJesus told the judge during a brief hearing Friday.
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 an 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 East Harlem homeless 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.
She returned to the shelter at nearly 4 a.m. 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 is when she told police she felt sick and vomited into the bucket next to the bed. She then 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’s skin had already turned cold. 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 if 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, from Staten Island, was staying at the shelter to be closer to the baby’s father, who lived in the area.