Northport Woman May Face More Severe Charges for Death of Infant Grandson
A Northport woman who was charged with manslaughter earlier this week after the death of her infant grandson may face more severe charges in the future, investigators said Thursday morning.
The case began last Friday morning, on October 15th, when 46-year-old Charlotte Tarasine Simpson called 911 to report that her six-month-old grandson was not breathing.
The baby was rushed by ambulance to DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa but did not survive.
The Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences performed an autopsy and ruled the infant's death was a homicide caused by a bilateral subdural hematoma -- bleeding and swelling around the brain. The condition is more commonly called "shaken baby syndrome."
The multi-agency Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit, which looks into all unnatural deaths in Tuscaloosa County, began an investigation and found Simpson was alone with the baby at the time of the injury that ultimately led to his death.
Simpson was arrested Monday and charged with manslaughter, a Class B felony. She has since been released from the Tuscaloosa County Jail on a $30,000 bond.
Captain Jack Kennedy, the commander of the VCU, said the investigation into the infant's death is ongoing and could eventually lead to more severe charges against Simpson.
“This case is still being investigated, and the charge could be upgraded in the future," Kennedy said. "The difference between Manslaughter, Murder, and Negligent Homicide lies in the actions and intent of the suspect. We must have evidence of each element of these crimes at the time of arrest."
"The initial charge of manslaughter was made after consultation with the District Attorney’s Office after probable cause was found that Simpon was the person responsible for her grandson’s death," Kennedy continued. "Just because an initial arrest has been made, does not mean that an investigation is over. There are still factors at play that may provide more evidence to be considered by a grand jury in the future. This investigation is still active and ongoing.”
Stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread for updates on this case as they develop.