The mother of an infant who died at Jefferson Regional Medical Center on Monday took full responsibility for his death, a police detective investigating the case said Wednesday.
Testifying at a probable-cause hearing for Latasha Cannon, Detective Jerry Lambert said Cannon told investigators “she was not a good mother and was fully responsible for the death” of the infant, Timothy McKnight, who was 4 months old.
The death was the 12th homicide of the year in Jefferson County and the ninth inside the Pine Bluff city limits.
Cannon, 22, was being held on probable cause of first-degree murder but that charge was upgraded to capital murder under a section of that law dealing with causing the death of a person under the age of 14 by a person over the age of 18 “under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life.”
Because of the capital murder allegation, Cannon will be held without bond at the adult detention center.
Lambert said the investigation began when police were sent to 6009 S. Cedar St., at about 8 a.m. Monday after a report that an infant was not breathing and was unresponsive.
Cannon told police that when she woke up, the infant was not breathing and she tried to perform CPR while her mother called 9-1-1.
Lambert said the infant was taken to Jefferson Regional Medical Center where doctors and nurses attempted to revive him without success, and according to Jefferson County Coroner Chad Kelley, the infant was pronounced dead at 9:50 a.m. by a doctor in the emergency room.
When Cannon was interviewed, Lambert said, she gave conflicting statements before saying that she was responsible, first telling police that she had gone to bed late and that when she woke up, she found the infant stuck between the mattress and headboard, then pulled the child out and tried to perform CPR.
In a second statement, Lambert said Cannon allegedly admitted suffocating the infant, and again several times said she was not “a good mother.”
Questioned by Deputy Prosecutor Maxie Kizer, Lambert said four people including Cannon and the infant lived in the house, and the infant slept in the bed with her. Additionally, Lambert said Cannon “had a troubled history and had been kicked out of a halfway house for alleged illegal activity,” and that Cannon’s mother agreed to let her live there.
The preliminary cause of death was suffocation, Lambert said.
Despite a warning from Jefferson County District Judge Kim Bridgforth that anything she said could be used against her, an emotional Cannon, who cried throughout Lambert’s testimony, said “I would never do anything to hurt my baby. I loved my baby.”
Bridgforth appointed the Public Defender’s Office to represent Cannon.