Woman charged in death of daughter

Infant had been taken from her mother at birth

March 02, 2004|By Del Quentin Wilber and Allison Klein | Del Quentin Wilber and Allison Klein,SUN STAFF

A 40-year-old Baltimore woman, who gave birth 18 months ago to a drug-addicted daughter, was ordered held without bail yesterday after being charged with killing the child over the weekend.

Monalisa Mackey of the 500 block of S. Brunswick St. is charged with first-degree murder in the smothering death of her daughter, Alicia Cureton.

Alicia was taken from her mother at birth and placed in a program for drug-exposed newborns, said Sue Fitzsimmons, a spokeswoman for the Baltimore Department of Social Services.

In November 2002, a city juvenile judge returned Alicia to her father, Fitzsimmons said. In July, Alicia's case was closed by DSS.

"There were no reports after that," Fitzsimmons said.

Sources familiar with the case said Mackey lived in the same home as the father.

The killing occurred sometime before 2 p.m. Saturday when Mackey forced Alicia "face down on the mattress at the foot of the bed and smothered the child to death by lying on top of her," according to charging documents.

Mackey is accused of killing the child because she was crying too much.

Mackey briefly appeared via closed-circuit television in District Court yesterday afternoon before Judge Jack I. Lesser.

Court officials reported that the mother had a history of cocaine addiction and alcohol abuse.

They also said she had threatened to hurt herself and others. Mackey's public defender, Roland Brown, argued that his client should be released on $50,000 bond because she had no history of convictions and had lived at her current address for more than three years.

Prosecutors did not attend the hearing.

Mackey's two other children, a 5-year-old boy and 4-year-old girl, were placed in the care of the city's Child Protective Services, police said.

Alicia's death was the second killing of a child in a week.

On Friday, 13-month-old Dejah McKoy died of injuries sustained during a beating Tuesday. Police have charged Tavon J. Wilson, 19, a boyfriend of the child's mother, with first-degree murder in Dejah's killing. He is being held without bail.

Police said in charging documents that the girl was badly shaken Tuesday, causing a severe brain injury that led to her death. Wilson had custody of the child from about 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. when he called the girl's mother to say that Dejah was coughing up blood.

The deaths pushed the city's homicide total for the year to 45, compared with 43 during the same period last year.

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