A Broward County mother is in custody, charged with attempted murder after her 3-month old baby boy was found unresponsive on her front lawn.
Miramar Police say that a neighbor noticed a baby lying in the grass outside of a home. The baby did not appear to be alert. The neighbor allegedly spotted the baby’s mother. The neighbor then attempted to give CPR to the baby.
The baby was taken to the hospital while the mother was detained by the Miramar Police Department for questioning. While the content of her statement is not known, an arrest for attempted murder was made following her statement to police.
Police believe that the woman intentionally tried to drown her child.
While this is a very tragic case, it is possible that the woman was suffering from some type of postpartum psychosis or other mental illness that could cause her to want to harm her child.
According to the Broward Jail’s website, the woman is being held on two counts of attempted murder, with an indication that the charge is for premeditated attempted murder, or attempted first-degree murder. This must mean that in her statement to police, the woman admitted that she planned on killing her child and then carried out the attempt.
Attempted first-degree murder is punishable by life in prison in the State of Florida.
As a defense attorney, I have dealt with clients who suffer from mental illness. Mental illness is often a mitigating factor when trying to resolve a serious case such as this one. Properly defending a client who suffers from a mental illness requires that the client be evaluated by a mental health professional and that a treatment plan be put into effect.
If the child survives, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) will likely step in and take custody of the child.
If the child does not survive, the woman may be charged with first-degree murder and will be eligible for the death penalty.
Eric Matheny is a criminal defense attorney representing clients charged with attempted murder and murder in Miami-Dade and Broward.