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Affidavit: Children say mother was mean to infant; Mother stacked blankets on baby to muffle cries

By: Jesse Martinez
LAS CRUCES, N.M. The mother of a 7-month-old who died Wednesday morning says she was well aware of the dangers of covering her baby with multiple blankets in order to muffle the sound of her cries, according to court documents.

As KFOX14 previously reported, police responded to a call of a woman giving an infant CPR at an apartment on the 300 block of Foster Road.

The child was taken to Memorial Medical Center where she was pronounced dead.

According to Annette Smiths arrest affidavit, she would cover the child, Shania Smith, in blankets to muffle her cries, and she resented the infant because she believed Shanias father loved the baby more than her.

Smiths three children, aged 13, 12 and 1, were in the home at the time of the incident.

The affidavit states the children feared their mother and said she was mean to Shania and cared for the 1-year-old more.

The children told investigators Smith would not feed the infant as often as she should, would leave her in soiled diapers and would not bathe her or tend to her needs.

The children also said their mother would use five to six quilts to cover Shanias head and entire body to muffle the sound of her crying. When they tried to remove the blankets, Smith would put them back and ignore their childrens warnings that the infant would die in the heat, the affidavit stated.

The air conditioning in the apartment complex was not working, so the temperature was above 80 degrees, according to court documents.

At one point, the children took Shanias temperature, which read 101.6. Their mother told them the infant was fine and only had a little fever, according to the affidavit.

Before the children went to school, they would prepare five bottles for the baby, but when they would return from school, only one was empty. The affidavit states theyd feed the baby, who would then quickly consume her food.

The afternoon before the incident, the children fed Shania two bottles because she was extremely hungry.

Smith later told investigators she had trouble feeding her baby because of the resentment she felt toward her.

She didnt like to hear her cry, which is why she covered her with blankets, court documents stated.

The night before the incident, she put the infant to bed at 9 p.m. and covered her from head to toe in blankets while the apartments temperature was 84 degrees.

She woke at midnight and 3 a.m. to change Shania and feed her, and would again cover her in blankets fully aware it would cause the infant extreme heat, the documents stated.

At 6 a.m. Wednesday, the infant wasnt breathing and Smith performed CPR for 30 minutes.

At that point, she changed the babys diaper, put her clothes and blankets in the washing machine and called 911, the affidavit stated.

The child's body was taken to the state medical investigator's office in Albuquerque for an autopsy.

Annette Smith, 33, was charged with intentional child abuse resulting in death and one count of tampering with evidence. She was booked into the county jail with bail set at $1 million.

 

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