Man is charged in death of infant daughter who slept in the same bed with him

08/29/2014 4:35 PM

08/29/2014 4:46 PM

A Kansas City man has been charged with accidentally killing his infant daughter, who suffocated while sleeping in the same bed with him earlier this year.

Jackson County prosecutors said Deonte J. Barnett had been previously counseled on the dangers of “co-sleeping” with a baby after she had been hospitalized last year with a broken leg.

Barnett, 22, was charged in Jackson County Circuit Court with involuntary manslaughter in the February death of 9-month-old Aubrie Barnett.

According to court documents, he told police that he and the baby had fallen asleep together in the same bed and that when he awoke he was lying on top of her. Barnett said the baby was limp but was breathing slightly, and he thought she was just “sleeping heavily,” according to the documents.

He said he put her in a stroller and went back to sleep, but when he woke up the next morning she was unresponsive and he called 911.

The Jackson County medical examiner determined that Aubrie died from “positional asphyxia.”

In the previous incident in June 2013, the month-old girl was treated for a broken leg after Barnett said he had fallen asleep with her on a couch and awoke on top of her with her legs folded to her chest.

Missouri social service workers counseled Barnett after that incident and devised a “safety plan” to ensure that she would not sleep with an adult, according to the court documents.

To reach Tony Rizzo, call 816-234-4435 or send email to trizzo@kcstar.com.

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