A Wisconsin grandmother pleaded guilty to smothering her grandson to death while co-sleeping under the influence.
Sheree Wimberly admitted that she accidentally killed her 3-month-old grandson while sleeping at her Milwaukee home on Oct. 15, 2014.
About 3,500 infants die unexpectedly in the U.S. every year, according to the CDC. Accidental Suffocation and Strangulation in Bed is the leading cause of death due to injury in infants. The CDC advises against sharing a sleeping space with an infant, be it a bed, couch, or a chair.
Wimberly told police that was “buzzed” after drinking two and a half pints of vodka with her daughters. At around 2:30 a.m., the mother of the infant screamed, “Momma, you laying on Ky'Dyn! Ky'Dyn's not breathing! He's dead!” the Daily Mail reports. The boy, however, was identified as K'Dyn Carson in other media reports.
Co-sleeping cases are hard to prosecute, so this is a unique case due to the blood sample and presence of a witness, according to WITI News. The last time someone in Milwaukee County faced similar charges was in 2009.
"Co-sleeping while under the influence can be criminally prosecuted,” Prosecutor Matthew Torbenson told WITI News. “That's how we examine the cases in Milwaukee County. Is there another element that's been added to the death of this child that makes it criminal?"
When alcohol is involved in co-sleeping cases, blood draws play an essential role. Wimberly's blood-alcohol level was reported as 0.084 when police arrived, the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel notes. Her blood-alcohol level was estimated to have been between 0.13 and 0.17 when the family contacted the police a few hours earlier, which is about twice the legal level in Wisconsin.
"In this particular case, we have an individual who drank alcohol for hours in the range of a .13 to .17 at the time the child likely passed away -- so that's an aggravating factor," Torbenson added to WITI News.
Wimberly is charged with second-degree reckless homicide and is scheduled for sentencing on Feb. 1. She faces up to 15 years in prison and 10 years of extended supervision.