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Mom guilty in co-sleeping death of second child


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  #1  
April 9th, 2012, 07:09 PM
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Vanessa Clark convicted after second baby dies in bed with her | ksdk.com

Do you agree with the verdict? Why or why not?
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  #2  
April 9th, 2012, 09:36 PM
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Since elevated levels of hydrocodone and Xanax were found in her blood, and several jars of (legally prescribed) pills were found on her nightstand, Vanessa Clark faces mandatory drug testing while she waits at home for sentencing.
Vanessa Clark: Second SIDS Death in a Year Leads to Child Endangerment Conviction - Houston News - Hair Balls

Based on this information that I found in another article I do agree with the verdict. I'm all for cosleeping and I co slept with both of my children. There are some things that are complete no-nos while cosleeping though and you'd think that someone who had already had one infant die in their bed would be extra vigilant. She had taken hydrocodone and Xanax. No way should an infant have been in bed with her.
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  #3  
April 9th, 2012, 10:03 PM
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Absolutely agree with the verdict. That baby should not have been in bed with her, at all. To be honest, I'm not real sure how well she can look after a baby being on those meds combined to begin with. Granted the effect they have on people will vary, it's still a pretty potent combination for a great many adults(even those who would otherwise seem unaltered by them, on their own).

I don't like that her legal team is trying to say she was trying to follow CPS guidelines. I don't know of any guidelines that tell you to mix medication that will undoubtedly cause a narcotic effect and lessen your alertness(at the very least), making you less aware of your surroundings. In fact, given that the other incident was less than a year prior to this, I am guessing that CPS didn't likely tell her to co-sleep at all. Oh look at that, they told her not to, big surprise. Not that in and of itself, it's bad, because it's not. Co-sleeping is not the problem here. But given the history, yeah, the odds of a repeat offense is more likely than it would have otherwise been. It's no coincidence her second son, in two years, passed away under nearly identical circumstances.
She should wholeheartedly be held accountable, imo, serving the max penalty available for her crime. I'm not so sure a two year sentence fits this crime though. I know that sounds harsh, I just strongly believe this woman likely needs help, and quite clearly made choices that led to her own child's death. This wasn't an unpreventable or an accident that couldn't possibly have been seen beforehand as a possibility. Her criminal record doesn't seem to play much part in this, but it's no shocker to me that she has one. In other words, she clearly has bad decision making skills(I don't care if her crimes since her last release were/are petty in comparison, they still speak a lot about her character, which speaks volumes to me).

She does have the creepiest mug shot though. What kind of woman would be that dang happy after her son passes away, especially at her own hands? That's just creepy.(but, probably just my opinion).

A death doesn't have to be intentional for it to be a serious crime, worthy of a serious penalty(not a slap on the wrist, which is what I believe a two year sentence is, for this crime).

I am glad they intend to charge the husband/father as well though. He doesn't seem to have any better decision making skills than she does, and he is responsible as well. He's a grown adult who should be able to see signs that something isn't wise. In fact, if he's not also hopped up on prescriptions(legal or otherwise, doesn't matter to me), then he should be even MORE aware. One could claim her mental state was beyond out of sorts(not an excuse, just a statement). But he can't really claim that if it doesn't apply. So why on earth didn't he stop her from placing a baby in bed with her under the very circumstances that caused his first son's death?

Oy...

Tragic and 100% preventable.
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  #4  
April 9th, 2012, 10:16 PM
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As sad as this is, i have to agree. The fact that she already lost one baby should have taught her, in its own heart breaking way. She could have had a bassinet or something beside the bed. This is very heart breaking. But sometimes if people cant learn on their own others must teach them. I hope in the future this family makes better choices, and that other people will learn from their unfortunate mistake.
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  #5  
April 10th, 2012, 12:54 AM
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I think it was the right decision. She had another child die in the same way. Why did she not take precautions again? She could have put a bassinet or playpen by the bed for him to sleep in. I couldn't imagine where anyone could think it was Ok to sleep with your child after taking a heavy duty drug like hydrocodone. It was a preventable death.
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  #6  
April 10th, 2012, 07:31 AM
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With the little I've read so far, at this point, I agree with Susie and think the verdict was correct. I am a huge co sleeping advocate but she was not co sleeping safely. Very sad.
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  #7  
April 10th, 2012, 07:33 AM
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You mean repeat deaths like this happen other places besides Milwaukee? Of course in the Milwaukee case it's that some of the parents just didn't have money for cribs OR proper beds for themselves and were sleeping on couches or on air mattresses.

Anyway.. she's guilty. There is no way that if ANY of my children died in a preventable accident that I would repeat the same situation. She's got to have a mental illness if she thinks any part of this was OK.
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  #8  
April 10th, 2012, 09:42 AM
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I am biased because anyone with a mugshot like this after your child dies deserves a special place in Hell.
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  #9  
April 10th, 2012, 09:55 AM
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In this specific case I do believe that the verdict is correct and yes she should be charged. If it had been the first time it had happened, I would feel differently.

I plan on co-sleeping, but stories like these scare me to death.
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  #10  
April 10th, 2012, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GinaB View Post
I am biased because anyone with a mugshot like this after your child dies deserves a special place in Hell.
Thats her mugshot??? ..... wow .....
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  #11  
April 10th, 2012, 11:14 AM
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Woah, Gina! You're right! That is crazy! I did notice that in the video, at the reading of her verdict, she was laughing with her attorney. Weird.

Susan, thanks for posting that second link. I thought there must be more to the story than was in the original. If she's co-sleeping while under the influence of those heavy duty drugs then yes, I think she should be charged.
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  #12  
April 10th, 2012, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by GinaB View Post
I am biased because anyone with a mugshot like this after your child dies deserves a special place in Hell.
I have no words.
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  #13  
April 10th, 2012, 12:43 PM
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In this case, yes. Bed-sharing and co-sleeping are wonderful IF you do it responsably (sp) and safely. Using medications, illegal drugs, being drunk, heavy sleeper, etc are no-nos for safe and proper bed-sharing. I also do not count falling asleep on a couch with your child as bed-sharing (as some articles in the past called it).
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  #14  
April 10th, 2012, 12:51 PM
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I agree with the verdict in light of the medication and the overall circumstances. I co-sleep a lot but would never dream of doing it if I was impaired in anyway.
And that mugshot......that is just insane.
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  #15  
April 10th, 2012, 01:21 PM
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I think there is more going on here than just two co-sleeping incidents gone bad. I find it highly probable that this mom suffers from Munchausen by proxy. No one in their right **** mind co-sleeps less than a year after they lost a baby that way. I'm thinking she may have gotten off easy with a endangerment charge.
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  #16  
April 10th, 2012, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by ~Tithen~ View Post
In this specific case I do believe that the verdict is correct and yes she should be charged. If it had been the first time it had happened, I would feel differently.

I plan on co-sleeping, but stories like these scare me to death.
They shouldn't. I mean, I get that they are tragic, but this scenario was 100% preventable. Don't co-sleep if you are under the influence of any substance (alcohol, drugs--even the prescription kind, I wouldn't even co-sleep if I took Benedryl or something natural like melatonin). Don't co-sleep if you feel you are overly exhausted and won't wake up. This is not a BF/FF debate at all, and I am sure there are many FF moms who cosleep very safely and many BF moms who do not, but STATISTICALLY speaking, an overwhelming majority of cosleeping deaths occur with FFed babies. I am sure you will/have, but educate yourself on proper precuations when cosleeping with your baby and a partner (I have always been a single mama, so anytime I co-sleep it's just me and DS), on ways to use pillows/blankets when co-sleeping. If you are still worried, get a sidecar crib. There are many SAFE ways to co-sleep. This woman was not practicing them.

I agree with the other posters. I agree with her conviction, and I, too, and I supporter of co-sleeping (even though DS preferred his crib alone from 6 weeks to 15 months, it worked for us for those first 6 weeks, and it is an option I would try again with any future children). She was not following safe co-sleeping habits by being under the effects of drugs (even prescription drugs). She had already lost a child for the same reason, so she KNEW the risks associated with that action. It was negligent.

What bothers me a lot about this is the negative light it sheds on co-sleeping. Like Tithen said, it scares her to co-sleep, and I am sure many other new moms or future moms feel the same way. It's become general public opinion that co-sleeping is not safe because of stories like this.
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  #17  
April 10th, 2012, 01:54 PM
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Double post, sorry!
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  #18  
April 10th, 2012, 02:18 PM
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I don't think it actually sheds a negative light on cosleeping in general. Granted some might take it that way, but those are probably the same people who would do the same with anything else. Like a story about a product or something causing the death of a child, would likely make those people think poorly of the product in all situations. If that even makes a lick of sense(it does in my head, lol).

I think if anything, this sheds light onto a subject that pertains to cosleeping, like when not to do it. Not so much saying cosleeping is bad, but showing what can happen when you don't use the gray matter in your noggin.
I'd rather see stories like this, which are pretty clear cut, showing exactly what happened, than see stories of "mom cosleeping might have caused the death of her child...authorities cannot confirm", or something. Because THAT kind of story, would leave people with more room for the "wondering". But here, we can clearly see cosleeping was not the culprit in and of itself, and not even a bad thing.
But maybe that's just my take.

Sorry I'm not really sure if any of that makes sense. It did before I typed it, lol.

I wouldn't let something like this scare you off doing something. But as a learning tool, though extremely tragic, it's quite valuable. Just like with many other things. Though sometimes I do personally feel things should be common sense. I know some people honestly lack that common sense. They're the ones who can learn the most from these tragedies. Even if it might mean scaring them from ever wanting to do it(not talking about you Ashley, lol, just generally speaking here). The bumbos and all the issues surrounding them, are a prime example. Most know you don't stick the dang baby on a counter, or the table, and walk away. But some didn't(please don't ask me to explain why, I can't, lol). But seeing what happens when another parent doesn't use common sense, might just be what others need to not repeat that same thing.

I liken this tragedy to that, sort of. Don't let it scare you, but use it as a learning tool, most definitely. In other words, don't be a dope and get doped up, then put baby in bed with you...especially knowing you have a spouse who has the same brain capacity as you do.
(I'm really angry she's only looking at two years here....really, really, angry... whether or not she has diminished mental capacity-for whatever reasons-that seems so light...sigh)
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  #19  
April 10th, 2012, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Frackel View Post
I don't think it actually sheds a negative light on cosleeping in general. Granted some might take it that way, but those are probably the same people who would do the same with anything else. Like a story about a product or something causing the death of a child, would likely make those people think poorly of the product in all situations. If that even makes a lick of sense(it does in my head, lol).
I have to respectfully disagree. I mean, yes, HERE in JM in our mommies community where many or most people here are educated on topics concerning our children it does what you said, it shines light on when not to co-sleep. However, read the headlines just posted in this article "Vanessa Clark convicted after second baby dies in bed with her" and "Vanessa Clark: Second SIDS Death in a Year leads to Child Endagerment Conviction." Neither headline mentions the use of drugs; you have to read for it. The first article doesn't mention it ANYWHERE! Honestly, after just reading the first article, I wasn't sure what I thought about the conviction. I was thinking I would have to do more research until I saw the second article that finally mentioned she was under the influence of perscription drugs.

If I were an uninformed reader just glancing at those titles, I would think, wow! She coslept with her babies and killed them! Yikes! Co-sleeping sounds dangerous! Even Tithen said articles like this scare her (in regards to considering cosleeping with future children). If they just read the first article, they would have no idea that Vanessa had been using drugs. They would only think that she had been convicted for co-sleeping period, making it not only unsafe but illegal. The general public is not as educated on parenting choices, especially less mainstream parenting choices, as the mommies on JM.

As far as the question about a product causing a death so people assume that the product is dangerous in all situations, that happens a lot too. The bumbo! I know many people who see the bumbo as a dangerous item after babies fell and were injured, even though the product itself is not to blame. I personally know many moms or future moms or even older people who didn't have/use baby slings who now think they are very dangerous and will never considering using one becuase some babies suffocated due to improper use. I have a few friends who think I'm crazy for baby wearing at all becuase of it, no matter the carrier or how it is used. These people are all very educated, but because of a few articles, they assuming an entire range of products is dangerous.
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  #20  
April 10th, 2012, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by LifeToTheMax View Post
I have to respectfully disagree. I mean, yes, HERE in JM in our mommies community where many or most people here are educated on topics concerning our children it does what you said, it shines light on when not to co-sleep. However, read the headlines just posted in this article "Vanessa Clark convicted after second baby dies in bed with her" and "Vanessa Clark: Second SIDS Death in a Year leads to Child Endagerment Conviction." Neither headline mentions the use of drugs; you have to read for it. The first article doesn't mention it ANYWHERE! Honestly, after just reading the first article, I wasn't sure what I thought about the conviction. I was thinking I would have to do more research until I saw the second article that finally mentioned she was under the influence of perscription drugs.

If I were an uninformed reader just glancing at those titles, I would think, wow! She coslept with her babies and killed them! Yikes! Co-sleeping sounds dangerous! Even Tithen said articles like this scare her (in regards to considering cosleeping with future children). If they just read the first article, they would have no idea that Vanessa had been using drugs. They would only think that she had been convicted for co-sleeping period, making it not only unsafe but illegal. The general public is not as educated on parenting choices, especially less mainstream parenting choices, as the mommies on JM.

As far as the question about a product causing a death so people assume that the product is dangerous in all situations, that happens a lot too. The bumbo! I know many people who see the bumbo as a dangerous item after babies fell and were injured, even though the product itself is not to blame. I personally know many moms or future moms or even older people who didn't have/use baby slings who now think they are very dangerous and will never considering using one becuase some babies suffocated due to improper use. I have a few friends who think I'm crazy for baby wearing at all becuase of it, no matter the carrier or how it is used. These people are all very educated, but because of a few articles, they assuming an entire range of products is dangerous.
I agree.

You can see evidence of uninformed people by just reading comments after articles like these. "I always knew co-sleeping was bad/dangerous", "co-sleeping should be made illegal", and so on.

Here are some comments from the dailymail's website on this article.

"Co sleeping is a practice that is used by lazy parents who can't be bothered to get out of bed to go and see to their babies or think it's cute to have their babies with them. I'm sorry but I really do not agree with it. Why would you take the risk of harming your baby or increasing the chance of SIDS? I don't get why people insist on doing this. And yes before some of you namby pamby parents jump on me, I have a child."

"Never co-slept when mine were babies but we had them in cots & then toddler beds in our room until they were 2 and 3. Then beds in own rooms with no problems. Now early in the morning they often come in, hop in with us and co-sleep aged 4 and 7. " Having your kids in your room but in different beds IS co-sleeping - See you can see the uninformed right there
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Last edited by HappyHippy; April 10th, 2012 at 02:53 PM.
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