According to pickensprogressonline.com, the Supreme Court of Georgia upheld the murder conviction of Quanitta Yvette Turner, a mother who was charged in the death of her infant daughter, Malay Chandler. Turner was sentenced to life in prison for holding her hand over her the 5-week-old baby girl’s nose and mouth and smothering her to death.
Justice Robert Benham wrote that the evidence “was sufficient to authorize a rational trier of fact to find appellant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the crimes for which she was convicted.”
Tyrone Oliver, a Newton County Sheriff's Office Lt. at the time, said deputies received a call about a baby who was unconscious and not breathing on Nov. 19, 2007. On the way to Newton Medical Center, the child died.
Investigators interviewed Turner, then 22, who reportedly told them she had been sleeping and had rolled over onto the baby. She said that the little girl began to cry and it caused her to wake up. She told investigators that the baby was fine so she went back to sleep.
Medical examiners could not determine the cause of death after an autopsy shortly after the child’s death.
The police didn’t pursue the case any further until August of 2010, when Malay’s father reported to police that he believed Turner had killed their daughter. Police reopened the case and in an August 24, interview, Turner admitted to police that she had covered the bab’s mouth and nose to stop her crying.
Exactly two years later, a Newton County jury found Turner guilty of felony murder, aggravated assault and cruelty to children in the first degree. She was sentenced to life in prison, but Turner appealed to the state Supreme Court. She argued that the jury had insufficient evidence to convict her, and her statements to police had not been voluntary and should have been suppressed at trial.