BR mother booked in infant’s death

Kewanda Duncan
Kewanda Duncan

A Baton Rouge mother was arrested Monday in the death of her infant daughter, accused of failing to keep the premature baby connected to a breathing monitor.

Kewanda B. Duncan, 29, 2552 Weller Ave., was booked into Parish Prison on one count of manslaughter in the death of A’Mircle Parker, a 12-week-old baby born premature this summer at Baton Rouge General Medical Center.

Both A’Mircle and Duncan tested positive for cocaine and marijuana at the time of the infant’s birth, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

The baby had been diagnosed with apnea and bradycardia disorder and given a respiratory device to monitor her breathing and heart rate.

“The monitor would make an audio alarm when A’Mircle stopped breathing or when her heart rate would drop below the normal BPM,” the affidavit says. “Kewanda was given specific orders by the doctor not to disconnect the monitor (unless) she is feeding A’Mircle or bathing her.”

Duncan had been at a residence on Bartlett Street on Sept. 23 with the baby, her two other children and a man who was not identified in court filings.

The baby was resting in a bedroom without the monitor when she began crying uncontrollably, the affidavit says.

Duncan allegedly told one of her children to lay A’Mircle on her stomach so she would stop crying. The unidentified man was asleep in his bedroom at the time.

“The infant was then left unattended in the bedroom for approximately three hours,” the affidavit says.

Duncan woke her other children about 2 a.m. and told them A’Mircle wasn’t breathing, the affidavit says.

The baby was taken to the hospital in critical condition and died on Thursday.

Dr. Beau Clark, the parish coroner, said the cause and manner of the baby’s death remain undetermined.

Duncan was being held Tuesday in lieu of $50,000 bond.

The arrest is not Duncan’s first encounter with law enforcement.

In January 2007, she was booked with aggravated battery and resisting an officer after allegedly attacking a woman with a knife.

Police said in court records that Duncan stabbed the woman in the top of the head after arguing with her.

Duncan was formally charged in the case, but it was dismissed a few months later, according to court records.