Mom arrested for co-sleeping after two babies die
Katherine Anne Jennings is the mother of two babies who died within 18 months of each other. In June of 2012, James Roberts Phillips was 4 months old when he died. In December 2013, Luke Stephen Phillips was 8 months old when he died. In both cases the babies died while co-sleeping with Jennings. No charges were ever filed against Jennings after the death of James, but in the case Luke, Jennings has been charged with involuntary manslaughter because co-sleeping was determined to be a contributing factor in the death of Luke.
This whole situation does not sit easy with me and I believe there is more to it than meets the eye because as far as I know co-sleeping is not against the law.
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Jennings was arrested on Monday night in Charlotte, North Carolina and taken to jail in Brunswick County, which is where the two babies died. She's on a $50,000 bond.
According to Lee Booinger, the Brunswick County Assistant District Attorney, his offices have never filed charges against a parent whose baby died while they were co-sleeping. He hasn't gone into specific details of this particular case, but he mentioned that in nationwide cases like this a parent has shown disregard for their child's safety.
Here's a little back story that may or may not be related. Jennings has a history of alcohol abuse. She's been charged with a minimum of four DUIs in the past. Again, her past history of alcohol abuse may or may not have anything to do with what is going on now, but it does make me suspicious.
I think there has to be a reason other than the co-sleeping that she is being charged with involuntary manslaughter. Authorities must think that she was being careless of her child's safety.
I understand that the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend co-sleeping because it can lead to suffocation. I also understand that co-sleeping is practiced worldwide in many cultures, has benefits for the child and can be done safely. And yes, I co-slept with both of my babies.
This case bothers me so much, yes because two children have died and that's tragic, but also because it makes it seem like co-sleeping parents in general are being reckless with their children's lives and that is simply not true.
Image via Corbis Images, Brunswick Police Department