A Rockford mother accused in the death of her baby girl waits to learn her fate. Testimony went on for most of the day in the sentencing hearing for Tina Lamonica. She took a deal that allowed her to plead guilty to a manslaughter charge but the judge would decide her sentence. Prosecutors say Lamonica checked into a Rockford hospital in January 2011 where she tested positive for cocaine and was leaking amniotic fluid. According to testimony doctors told her she or the baby could die if she left the hospital. Lamonica checked herself out, a week later she had her baby. The little girl was born with cocaine in her system because Lamonica allegedly used again before her birth.
"After the baby was born, the baby had respiratory problems, the baby had difficulty breathing. The baby was in the ICU for approximately 7 days and never really got a foothold on life," says Dr. John Denton, Forensic Pathologist.
A Department of Children and Family Services investigator also testified Lamonica told him she got no prenatal care during pregnancy.
"She admitted that she had been using cocaine for an extended period of time and that she had used cocaine just prior to her admission into the hospital," says Robert Nolan, DCFS investigator.
The defense still has to present its side. Lamonica could get anywhere from probation to 14 years for manslaughter.
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