A Northport woman once accused of killing her infant grandchild has seen the capital murder charges against her dismissed and has been released from jail after a medical examiner said he could not conclusively determine the baby's cause of death.

47-year-old Charlotte Tarasine Simpson was arrested on October 15th after she reportedly called 911 to report that her six-month-old grandson was not breathing.

The infant was rushed by ambulance to DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa but did not survive its injuries.

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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 took over the investigation into the child's death and ultimately determined that Simpson had been alone with the infant at the time of the injury that was thought to have led to his death.

Simpson allegedly told investigators she had been "dancing around" with the baby at the time of his injury, but police suspected there was more to the story.

She was arrested in October 2021 and charged with manslaughter but a grand jury later indicted her on a capital murder charge.

Simpson, who had been released from jail on a $30,000 bond shortly after her October arrest, was booked again in the Tuscaloosa County Jail on the capital murder charge and held without bond until she was released in May 2023. The charges against her were dismissed in July.

In a motion to dismiss, prosecutors said the forensic examiner who performed the first autopsy in 2021 and ruled the infant's death a homicide has since died. As the case progressed and more review of its details was required, additional testing was performed by the Alabama Department of Forensic Science's Chief Medical Examiner.

The Examiner's amended autopsy report was completed in May 2023, and concluded that the manner and cause of the infant's death could not be determined, and prosecutors found the capital murder charge was due to be dismissed.

Simpson is free from jail after a year and a half and back in good legal standing.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This report was extensively updated on August 3rd, 2023 to reflect the dismissal of the charges against Simpson. Her mugshot has been removed from our featured image. 

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