MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Thirty-nine-year-old Cardie Jackson and 40-year-old Shonwta Jackson were charged with second-degree murder Tuesday in Hennepin County Court in the death of their 6-week-old daughter.
Hennepin County prosecutor Amy Sweasy says the baby suffocated in a laundry basket filled with blankets and a pillow, where she regularly slept.
“Cases that involve the negligent acts of parents that result in significant harm or death are the saddest things we see, because they are by definition preventable,” Sweasy said.
She said that last March the couple was partying at their Minneapolis apartment, and they put the baby to sleep in the laundry basket.
Sweasy said a nurse had given the couple information warning against including pillows or loose bedding in a sleep environment.
“If both parents would have made a series of different choices, this baby would be a happy baby now,” she said.
Police say the baby was the couple’s 11th child. They had lost custody of nine children and a 2-year-old is in foster care.
“The parents chose to drink, the parents chose to disregard the advice of the visiting nurse. Miss Jackson chose to put the baby face down on or her side. We know that, because that’s how the baby was found,” she said.
Sweasy said it’s taken this many months for the charges to be filed, because the case involved an infant, and there were no obvious signs of distress.
They also had to verify the child was that of the father.