Mom Who Smothered Baby While Breastfeeding Drunk Sentenced to Jail

A woman who accidentally smothered her 2-month-old infant last fall after passing out drunk while breastfeeding has been sentenced to 15 months in jail.

Yadina Morales, 22, expressed her extreme regret over the November 2 death of her daughter Marilyn, and said she wishes every single day that she were dead instead. She told the judge before the sentencing, "I never, ever meant for any of this to happen."

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Washington County Circuit Judge M. Kenneth Long acknowledged that the death was accidental, but that Morales' actions were "way, way, way beyond what was reasonable."

The young mother was reportedly drinking with Marilyn's father, Dwayne Bryant, 38, after her other two daughters, ages 2 and 4, were put to bed. Dwayne then went out drinking for the night, leaving Yadina home on the couch nursing Marilyn. He told police when he came home, he found her passed out on top of their daughter, who was unresponsive. The saddest part is that the baby was lying between her mom and sofa's back cushion, so I have to wonder if she somehow thought she was protecting her daughter from rolling onto the floor in her inebriated state? Ugh, this whole story is so sad.

Of course,it could be that she wasn't thinking much of anything at all, because when her blood-alcohol level was checked 12 full hours later, it was still 0.256, more than three times the legal limit to drive, and well past the 0.2 level where blackouts are common.

Morales was charged on several counts, including child abuse and reckless endangerment, but entered an Alford plea to involuntary manslaughter. This means she didn't plead guilty, but acknowledged that state had enough evidence to convict. She faced up to 10 years in prison, but the judge suspended the sentence and ordered her to enter a substance abuse program while she serves her time.

Assistant State's Attorney Brett Wilson said Morales was "irresponsible and self-indulgent," and the tragedy "could have been avoided with the simplest, most basic understanding of duty."

It is so hard to say if justice was served in this case. She's obviously repentant, and has to live with the knowledge every single day that her stupid decision robbed her baby of life. To lose a child is bad enough, but to lose one because you acted stupidly? That's got to be its own special kind of hell. Plus she lost custody of her older two girls, who are now in foster care. She will live with the consequences of her actions for the rest of her life.

On the other hand, if she has a problem with alcohol, maybe she'll be able to get the help she needs in jail. And if nothing else, maybe this will keep even one mom from thinking they're fine to take care of a baby while drinking heavily. If you find yourself impaired for any reason while caring for an infant or small child, call for help. Sure it may be embarrassing, but it's better than harming or even killing an innocent child.

Do you think this mom got what she deserves?

 

Image via Washington County, Md., Sheriff's Office

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