Florida Mother Arrested in Co-Sleeping Death of Newborn Son

Florida Mother Arrested in Co-Sleeping Death of Newborn Son February 14, 2019
Genna Aaronson YouTube

A Florida mother that co-slept with her 5-week-old infant was charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child this week. The state alleges that Genna Aaronson willfully put her son in danger by allowing him to sleep in bed with her.

On January 5, 2018, Genna Aaronson fed her 5-week-old son. After he finished eating, she covered him with a blanket and laid him on her bed. After putting her son Clarke to bed, she watched a movie on her phone.

Six hours later, she woke up to her husband screaming. Her son was blue and not breathing. Both parents performed CPR on their son in an attempt to revive him. However, the baby never regained consciousness. First responders transported the lifeless baby to the hospital. Doctors pronounced him dead at 6:05 am on January 19.

Only a week before the baby died, his parents brought him to the hospital after he fell out of bed. The father told doctors he had been sleeping with the infant and he rolled out of his arms. While speaking with doctors, the parents admitted their infant slept in bed with one parent each night.

Thankfully, scans performed at the hospital indicated that Clarke did not suffer injuries from his fall.

Staff at the hospital provided education to the parents about the dangers of co-sleeping. They asked the parents not to sleep with the baby. Additionally, they requested the parents submit to a drug test. Clarke’s father, Paul Aaronson, tested positive for marijuana. Genna Aaronson refused to take the test.

An autopsy performed by the medical examiner determined the baby died from asphyxiation. Toxicology reports taken during the autopsy did not indicate any substances in the infant’s blood.

Investigators said the couple had a bassinet in their room for the baby. However, they chose to sleep in the same bed with Clarke.

Prosecutors believe the parents willfully placed the baby in danger by allowing him to sleep with them in a bed. A state record report said,

“Yet despite this, his parents continued to allow him to co-sleep with them,” the report states. “Both parents were responsible for allowing him to sleep in an unsafe situation which ultimately caused his death.”

After months of investigating, police arrested Genna Aaronson for the death of her son. Police booked her on a charge of aggravated manslaughter. At her arraignment, the judge said she could either be placed under house arrest or post a $10,000.00 bond.

The Panama City News Herald reports that eleven other children died related to co-sleeping after Clarke’s death.  However, Genna Aaronson is the only parent that has been arrested for her role in a sleep-related death. Another mother was arrested in 2016 after her second child died from unsafe sleeping conditions.

Aggravated Manslaughter is a first-degree felony and carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

The Centers for Disease Control reports that 3,500 babies die each year from sleep-related events. To reduce the risk of suffocation, the CDC recommends the following:

  • Place the infant alone in a crib on their back
  • Use a hard or firm mattress in a safety-approved crib
  • Do not place any blankets, stuffed animals, or pillows in the crib
  • Have the baby share a room with the parent but not the bed

For more information on Infant Safe Sleep Recommendations visit the CDC.

Genna Aaronson has no previous criminal history. She and her husband are also parents to a six-year-old child. There are no details on if charges will be pursued against the father.

 

*Katie Joy is a columnist and hosts Without A Crystal Ball on Patheos Non-Religious Channel. She writes articles on parenting, disability advocacy, debunking pseudoscience, atheism, and crimes against women and children.

She co-hosts the YouTube show, “The Smoking Nun,” with Kyle Curtis. The show airs weekly and tackles pseudoscience, current events, and crime stories.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    There is more to this story, I can tell you now.

    It starts with the earlier case:

    Only a week before the baby died, his parents brought him to the hospital after he fell out of bed. The father told doctors he had been sleeping with the infant and the baby rolled off the bed.

    No. No way.

    A Florida mother that co-slept with her 5-week-old infant was charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child this week.

    A 4 week old baby is not able to roll over. Rolling from front to back typically can happen at 4 months. If you want to claim you have a great athletic baby, make it 3 months. But there is no way in hell a baby can roll 4 weeks.

    The father’s story is a lie. The baby didn’t roll over and fall out of bed.

    And I don’t believe it was merely a case of co-sleeping. The parents are liars and cannot be trusted.

  • babies can and do roll. they can also move by kicking and wiggling.

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    Look at your own statement in the article:

    An autopsy performed by the medical examiner determined the baby died from asphyxiation, or simply he suffocated to death. At one-month-old, the baby was not able to roll or repossession himself if his breathing became restricted.

    1 month old babies don’t roll. You said it yourself.

  • I corrected. Please don’t be rude.

  • The saddest part is that so few people seem to take this issue seriously.

  • This shouldn’t even happen.

    I understand falling asleep with a sleepy baby on your chest. Naps are contagious that way.

    I don’t understand, knowing what we do about the risks of co-sleeping, going right on ahead and doing the thing you’ve just been told is super dangerous for your baby.

  • Cozmo the Magician

    My even just can’t anymore. This fucker sblames an INFANT for its own death. Yeah… right.. The little brat did not stay in bed where they put it. How dare the little shit not move out of the way when they were humping to make V2.0.

  • Matt Flannery

    If he rolled around, he could have bounced the baby off the bed – it is not necessarily the baby rolling himself, but the motion would have been rolling off. And it is damn tragedy no matter which

  • Lisa Cybergirl

    This is an actual thing, co-sleeping. It’s supposed to encourage bonding between mother and baby, part of the “attachment parenting” philosophy. It seems to me that it would also serve as excellent birth control.

    As if babies don’t generally bond with their mothers WITHOUT being in the same bed!

  • attachment-parenting aka – leave the woman at home barefoot and pregnant

  • Lisa Cybergirl

    Yep. It seems like just another patriarchal lifestyle, with the baby in the role of Jesus.

  • exactly!

  • I think that attachment parenting has some good stuff in it. But as with anything, people can take a good thing too far and turn it into a bad thing. I’d post a link to RationalWiki if I could, they have a good page on it outlining the few positives and the huge negatives.

  • Knitting Cat Lady

    My parents had me co-sleep. Only after I was about half a year old. Because I just wouldn’t fucking sleep otherwise. And if I wasn’t sleeping, my parents weren’t either.

    I’d only sleep in a moving vehicle of some kind (car, pram, whatever) or next to one of my parents. Yay autism.

    If my parents knew what they know now they would have mounted my cot to the washing machine and run the spin cycle until I was asleep…

  • Seems to me the best solution is using a “sidecar” arrangement with a crib right next to the bed so baby’s right there within reach if necessary, but not at risk of a preventable tragedy.

  • Anat

    My parents didn’t drive when I was born. For me to fall asleep they would take me on the bus. The drivers in the area got to know our family very well. (They didn’t have a washing machine either.)

  • Anat

    My kid rolled from back to front at 5 weeks. Not sure when he rolled back to front, but babies who are put down on their backs tend to roll back to front first, not front to back. (It was the other way around in previous generations).