Infant’s Death Ruled Accidental Suffocation, Babysitter Will Not Face Charges
SPRING HILL – When Cindy Estevez and Bentley Bailey Sr. left their infant son Bentley Jr. with a babysitter nearly one year ago today, they never imagined it would be the last time they would see their son alive. But sadly, the nightmare most parents fear the most came true for the young couple, when they received word that 3-month-old Bentley had passed away while in the care of 28-year-old Jessica Wakefield.
On September 29th, 2015, Fire Rescue responded to 8183 Omaha Circle where they located Bentley unresponsive. Paramedics immediately began CPR and transported Bentley to Bayfront Health Spring Hill where doctors tried unsuccessfully to save him.
According to reports, when detectives made contact with Wakefield at the residence, she was holding another one year old child who was unrelated to the incident. Wakefield explained that she picked Bentley up from his mother at 8:45 a.m. and brought the two children back to her home on Omaha Circle. Wakefield says that Bentley was suffering from a cold and that he had recently undergone breathing treatments at his doctor’s office.
Around noon, Wakefield says she placed Bentley on a couch inside a garage that had been converted into a playroom. Wakefield explained that she placed Bentley on his back with a pillow blocking the open end of the couch to prevent him from falling off. Approximately 30 minutes later, Wakefield noticed that she could no longer hear Bentley making noise, so she went to check on him. When Wakefield entered the room she noticed that Bentley had turned with his face against the back of the couch and appeared to be pale, and not breathing. She immediately picked Bentley up, placed him on a rug in the living room, called 911, and then began CPR.
After a near 5-month investigation following Bentley’s death, officials determined that the cause of death was accidental suffocation and that Wakefield would not face charges. Bentley’s mother was not happy with the State’s decision and says Wakefield should at least face charges of negligent homicide.
We spoke with Assistant State Attorney Pete Magrino who says there wasn’t evidence culpable negligence with regard to Wakefield’s actions. Magrino explains that Culpable Negligence is when death is the result of recklessly or disregard for human life. He could not find that to be the case with the death of Bentley Bailey.
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