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Dad Dozed off With Infant on His Chest. He’s Charged After Being Repeatedly Warned Not to Co-Sleep With Son

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A Pennsylvania dad was arrested and charged in the death of his 1-month-old baby after the newborn suffocated while napping on his father’s chest when they both fell asleep.

Isaiah was sleeping on his dad when he rolled over face down and stopped breathing.

According to the criminal complaint, Westmoreland County detectives said the baby “had shifted from his chest and was now laying face down in the crook of his armpit,” reports NBC News.

Owen Labrenn Copney woke up and immediately called 911 after he saw that his son was “sweaty” and no longer responsive.

Emergency responders attempted to revive Isaiah at his home but failed, and the boy died two days later in the hospital on September 19, 2018.

The child’s mother told police in the past she warned Copney repeatedly that co-sleeping with the baby was dangerous.

On Wednesday, the dad was charged with involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment in connection with his son’s death.

Westmoreland District Attorney John Peck told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the tragedy could have been prevented if Copeney had:
“Put the child back in a crib or a bassinet. It was reckless not to do that.”
In one incident, the father knocked the baby off of him during a nightmare while sleeping. On a separate occasion, Isaiah’s mom had to wake Copney up when his arm partially covered the newborn’s face.

Peck said:
“As I recall, the facts were that she had confronted him about this and warned him about it, and I suspect he agreed to comply and didn’t.”
He continued:
“An accident means that you have no control over the result. In other words, it just happened as a result of something that’s out of your control. In this case, he did have control over the situation.”
Peck said it was recklessness of Copney not to heed Isaiah’s mother’s multiple warnings because he ended up suffocating their child.

The dad is out of jail on a $25,000 bond and awaits his preliminary hearing.

As reported by Dearly, authorities in Florida warned that it’s never good to sleep with a child after sleep-related infant deaths spiked this year.

According to a 2016 report, 3,500 infants die annually in the U.S. from sleep-related tragedies.

The American Academy of Pediatrics said that accidental suffocations from co-sleeping are on the rise.

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