Mom Charged After Her Baby Dies in Her Bed

Leslie Neuman was warned of dangers of 'co-sleeping'
By Linda Hervieux,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 20, 2017 12:36 PM CDT
Mom Charged in 'Bed Sharing' Death of Her 6-Month-Old
Leslie Gwen Neuman was charged with involuntary manslaughter and child abuse.   (Livonia, Mich., Police Department)

A Michigan mom is facing criminal charges after her infant son died after she took him to bed with her, People reports. Prosecutors say Leslie Neuman, 32, had been drinking alcohol before she tucked 6-month-old Connor Kleeman into her bed. He wasn't breathing when Neuman awoke early on Dec. 29, and paramedics were unable to revive him, the Detroit News reports. The Wayne County Medical Examiner ruled the baby had become "wedged" between the bed and the wall, and died of accidental asphyxiation as a result of "bed sharing." Neuman was arraigned on Monday on charges of involuntary manslaughter and second-degree child abuse. Last year, Neuman had been warned in a class for new mothers about the dangers of "co-sleeping," People reports.

Neuman was enrolled in the class run by Child Protective Services after a tipster told authorities it looked like she was going through drug withdrawal. Neuman's lawyer, Maggie Cotant, acknowledges that her client sought help at a drug and alcohol treatment center while pregnant, but says it played no role in the death. She says Neuman put Connor in her bed because he had a cold and she feared not hearing him if he cried. "This is a person who has been punished enough," she says. A report found that suffocation was the most common cause of sleep-related deaths in Wayne County in recent years, per Michigan Live. In 2013, prosecutors warned that parents would face criminal charges if they place their children in "unsafe sleeping environments." (This happened twice to a woman in Florida.)

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