ANTIDEPRESSANT WITHDRAWAL: Mother Kills Baby: Pennsylvania

Paragraph 16 reads:  “The defendant’s defense lawyer,
Pietro Joseph D’Angelo, told the court that at the time of the baby’s death,
Brown should have been taking medication for depression and
anxiety.”

“Brown, who is currently back
on prescription medication,
testified she is better able to
cope.”

http://www.timesherald.com/articles/2009/11/21/news/doc4b0772fcf0acd165303912.txt

By KEITH PHUCAS
Times Herald Staff

COURTHOUSE
­ A Norristown woman who admitted causing fatal injuries to her 20-month-old
toddler last November, when she shook him and banged his head against a bed
headboard, was sentenced to prison Friday.

Jennifer Brown, 24, who
pleaded guilty in September to involuntary manslaughter and endangering the
welfare of a child, was sentenced by Montgomery County Judge William R.
Carpenter to 11 1/2 to 23 months behind bars and three years’
probation.

Brown has already been incarcerated for seven months and is
eligible for Montgomery County Correctional Facility’s Work Release
Program.

She severely injured her son, Lathario Brown-Jacobs, on Nov. 25
in his bedroom at the family’s East Jacoby Street home, and the child died in
the hospital three days later.

After paramedics attempted to treat the
child at the scene, he was taken to Montgomery Hospital. Physicians there
suspected the severe trauma was not accidentally inflicted, and the child was
transferred to Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia, where he was put on life
support.

When the injured boy was initially hospitalized, the woman
claimed she was awakened by sounds coming from her son’s room at 3 a.m.,
according to court papers, and when she went to check on him, he was having
difficulty breathing.

The mother claimed she tried to wake him, but he
reportedly didn’t respond, and she got upset and began shaking him and hit his
head several times, according to authorities. Around 4 a.m., the mother called
911 to report her son was having breathing problems.

A Norristown day
care center that took care of Lathario Brown on a regular basis told
investigators that the boy frequently had a bloody nose or bloody lip when he
was dropped off in the morning, according to court papers.

When
Norristown Detective David Mazza and County Detective Rich Nilsen interviewed
Brown a second time, she admitted shaking the boy and hitting his head several
times on the headboard or the wall, and at some point the toddler “went
limp.”

According to court records, Dr. Chase Blanchard, a forensic
pathologist with the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office, performed an
autopsy. Dr. Lucy Rorke-Adams, an expert in neuropathology, examined the child’s
brain tissue, and concluded he died as a result of a severe brain
injury.

The defendant’s mother, Eleanor Brown, and the child’s father,
Terrence Jacobs, testified at the sentencing hearing.

“My daughter has
been through a lot of pain and suffering,” Eleanor Brown said. “This has made
her stronger.”

Jacobs, who is also the father of the 24-year-old woman’s
other children, described her as a “very passionate” person. He said the couple
had lived together in Augusta, Ga., but the couple split up and Brown returned
to Norristown.

“She was the thread that held our family together,” he
said.

The defendant’s defense lawyer, Pietro Joseph D’Angelo, told the
court that at the time of the baby’s death, Brown should have been taking
medication for depression and anxiety.

Brown, who is currently back on
prescription medication, testified she is better able to cope.

“It makes
me feel real calm,” she said.

Brown, who graduated from Norristown Area
High School in 2003, played on the school’s field hockey and lacrosse
teams.

Just prior to sentencing, Carpenter said the defendant had no
prior criminal record and was actively participating in counseling programs in
prison.

“I find she is genuinely remorseful, and has the support from her
family,” the judge said.

Since the child’s death nearly a year ago,
Brown’s brother and father have also died.

“She has suffered, and we all
have suffered,” Eleanor Brown said.

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