- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 15, 2014

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) - Mesa County prosecutors are pursuing a first-degree murder charge against a foster mother accused in the death of a baby placed in her care.

Sydney White, 20, was formally advised of the charges filed against her during a court hearing Tuesday in Grand Junction. She has also been charged with one count of child abuse resulting in death, the Daily Sentinel (https://bit.ly/1pchl2Y) reported.

Prosecutors do not allege that there was any premeditation involved in 11-month-old Angel Place’s death. Instead, they’re pursuing the first-degree murder charge because the victim was under 12 and because White is someone who was in a position of trust, Deputy District Attorney Dan Rubenstein told the newspaper.

White has not entered a plea yet.

Angel died Sept. 17 after being taken off life support at Children’s Hospital in Denver. The coroner found that the major contributing factor in her death was blunt-force trauma to the head, although White told investigators she also shook the baby, according to her arrest affidavit.

Social workers removed Angel from her biological parents and placed her with White and her husband and their two young children in July.

According to the document, White told investigators that she accidentally dropped Angel on the bathroom floor on Sept. 12 while tending to the other children. She said the baby hit her head, cut her lip and had a bloody nose, but there were no signs of other problems. Three days later, White also allegedly told investigators that she held the baby by her neck and shook several times when the baby wouldn’t stop screaming.

She said one of her children walked in on her and said “Mommy stop it” and she put the baby down, according to the document.

White told investigators that the baby seemed lethargic but seemed better later in the day. However, that night the baby was unresponsive and she and her husband took her to the emergency room.


Information from: The Daily Sentinel, https://www.gjsentinel.com

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