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DA weighing charges after second child smothered

Posted March 25, 2010

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— A Dunn woman could face criminal charges after she accidentally suffocated two infants in less than four years.

The Harnett County District Attorney's Office is awaiting the findings of a Department of Social Services investigation of Destiny Judd, whose 7-week-old daughter died Dec. 26.

Dunn Police Department patrol car Police warned mom about sleeping with babies

An autopsy report released Wednesday states that Jordan Judd was asphyxiated when she was pinned between her mother and the back of a couch.

Judd, 23, told authorities that she went to sleep with the infant on the couch in her Sawyer Circle apartment. When she awoke, she said, the baby was unresponsive, and she called 911.

Police ruled the death an accident, but Dunn Police Chief B.P. Jones said officers and DSS staff had warned Judd previously against sleeping with young children.

On Oct. 11, 2006, Judd accidentally suffocated her 5-week-old son, Zykeise, when he was trapped behind her on a couch, according to an autopsy report. His death also was ruled an accident.

Harnett County District Attorney Susan Doyle couldn't be reached Thursday for comment.

Judd said Thursday that, when Zykeise died, she had placed the baby on her chest and dozed off. After that, she said, she was terrified it would happen again, and she even told Jordan's father once not to let her fall asleep with the baby in her hands.

Still, she said, no one ever told her that sleeping on a couch with children was dangerous, noting she has always let her children sleep in bed with her.

Judd has two other children, ages 6 and 2.

"I just don't want everybody to think I did anything to intentionally hurt my baby. My kids are all I have," she said as she wiped away tears. "It's killing me because that was my baby."

On Dec. 26, she said, she curled up with Jordan on the couch. The baby was against the back of the couch, and Judd was facing her so the baby wouldn't roll off onto the floor, she said.

"I knew at the time that was the place for her to be," Judd said.

When she awoke, however, she found that she had rolled over, and her back was up against the baby and the back of the couch.

"It hurt me so bad because I lost two of my babies, but I thank God for his grace and mercy," she said.

A neighbor who declined to give her name described Judd as a good mother, saying "her kids always came first."

"I have five kids of my own, and it's a sad situation," she said. "For this to happen twice, things happen."

Police said Judd has been cooperating with the investigation.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • rescuemom15 Mar 26, 2010

    Hardwork - someone had made a reference to the mother being on welfare, and I was providing more information on that topic.
    Look up the statistics on preventable child deaths and socio-economic levels, and I think you'll see what I'm talking about.

  • kproudmommaof2 Mar 26, 2010

    Did anyone else see that LifeTime movie that was based on a true story? I can't remember the name of it now but it was about a woman back in the 70's who kept smothering her babies and they kept ruling it as an accident until the 5th baby died. I looked it up on the internet afterward and it has happened an unbelievable amount of times. I do not know this woman or anything more than this news article tells me but something definitely does not seem right with this whole situation.

  • Jess11 Mar 26, 2010

    During the first two months my sons were home, I did sometimes fall asleep with them on the couch. It was out of exhaustion. I'd get up to feed them, and I'd doze off holding them. I slept lightly while doing this, but I was always scared when I woke up because I'd think about all the horrible things that could have happened. I don't understand how she put herself in the same situation after one baby died. Something isn't right about it.

  • kal Mar 26, 2010

    I sure wish parents had to pass a test before they could have children-or at least brought them home for the hospital.

  • hardwork919 Mar 26, 2010

    "If memory serves me right, her residence is low-income housing. Not the worst in that city, but still." rescuemom15

    What does this have to do with anything? Even if that's the case, how is this relevant to her child being killed?

  • Tired of thoughtlessness Mar 26, 2010

    I dont believe no one ever told her not to sleep with the children. This is basic education every hospital in North Carolina gives to new parents. Also, lets say its common sense after you had the "accident" the first time.

    The couch, alone is unsafe for newborns because of the cushions that separate, etc. They teach that a flat mattress, no extra blankets, pillows, etc, ALONE, is the best place for an infant.

  • APXmom Mar 26, 2010

    get those other 2 children out of there now. Something is definitely wrong in that household.

  • something2say Mar 25, 2010

    This was always my biggest fear. My MIL told a story of how a women smothered her child while breastfeeding laying down and falling asleep. I never breast feed in a prone position because of that face alone. It is so easy to fall asleep while feeding a child even when sitting!

    It is hard to that this mother accidentally killed two infants in the exact same way......... If it is true, I would imagine that "passing out" rather than sleeping was the problem......

  • Adelinthe Mar 25, 2010

    "After that, she said, she was terrified it would happen again, and she even told Jordan's father once not to let her fall asleep with the baby in her hands."

    Where was the father then when this happened???

    "...she said, no one ever told her that sleeping on a couch with children was dangerous, noting she has always let her children sleep in bed with her."

    After the first one died the way it did, a "smart" person would have learned the risk. Apparently this woman is not a "smart" person, and she should be prevented from having any more babies.

    I'm thinking she's probably not a bad mother, just not a smart one.

    Too bad two defenseless infants were left at the mercy of her stupidity.

    God bless.


  • mtnmama Mar 25, 2010

    MamaBear is so right. I used to sleep w/my baby on my chest, or in the bed with me in the morning. My husband would bring him to me in our bed to nurse & many times fell asleep until the next feeding (2 hours). I was so sleep deprived that I never even considered it dangerous. In hindsight I am so thankful nothing like this ever happened to my baby. It IS ODD that this would happen twice, but I do see how easily it could happen.