24-year-old Jennifer Ruth Spicer, a Kalamazoo mother, is accused of being negligent with her infant during bath time, which resulted in the child’s death. Spicer is being charged with both child abuse and manslaughter.
According to police reports, officers were dispatched to Spicer’s home on Phelps avenue in Kalamazoo in response to a 911 call about an unresponsive child. The officers arrived to find an infant girl who wasn’t breathing.
Officers contacted the ambulance to find out how far away they were, and once they realized that paramedics were still 10 minutes away, officers transported the baby in the police car to a local hospital. Although officers continued CPR in an effort to revive the little girl, she was pronounced dead by a doctor at the hospital.
Spicer was subsequently interviewed by police, and told them that the baby had drowned in the bath tub. According to reports from investigators, Spicer claims that she put all three of her young children into the bath together – a 2-year-old, a 1-year-old, and the infant.
However, she placed the baby in an infant bathtub which, according to the children’s father, was usually placed so that it was suspended above the water, with the ends of the baby bathtub resting on the sides of the standard bathtub. Spicer said she left the children in the bath and went into the kitchen.
She says she was only gone for about five minutes before returning to discover that the baby bathtub had been upended, and the baby had fallen into the water. Spicer says that she believes it was the 1-year-old who flipped the baby bathtub over.
As of now, we have no idea whether or not this instance will result in a CPS investigation, however we do know that Spicer has a history with the agency. Child Protective Services opened an investigation into the family last month, just shy of two weeks after the baby’s birth.
We do not know what prompted the investigation, but we do know that the agency determined that the couple’s children could remain in their care. Spicer and her partner had four children, including a 7-year-old boy, a 2-year-old girl, a 1-year-old boy, and an infant daughter who was about 7 months old.
Additionally, Spicer is alleged to struggle with substance abuse problems. Three of her children tested positive for marijuana shortly after birth, including the baby who tested positive the day after she was born. Records also show that Spicer has been required to perform random drug tests in the past.
Spicer has been charged with three counts of Second Degree Child Abuse and one count of Manslaughter. She was granted a personal recognizance bond of $25,000 which she has since posted. Her preliminary examination has been scheduled for February 28th, and her CPS case from last month is still pending in family court.
Accidents like this are tragedies that leave parents heartbroken, and families suffering. It is very sad that a single five minute decision could result in a lifetime in prison and the possibility of multiple children in foster care. If you or a loved one have been accused of making a mistake that cost a child their life, contact us immediately at 866 346 5879. Our experienced parent defense attorneys are here to help you.