Saturday, May 18, 2024

Kalamazoo Couple Charged with Manslaughter After Baby Dies from Asphyxia

Kalamazoo Couple Charged with Manslaughter After Baby Dies from Asphyxia
Jose Antonio Roldan and Ladesha Ann Powe / YouTube screenshot

*A Kalamazoo couple is charged with involuntary manslaughter for the December 2023 death of their 6-month-old daughter, Faith Hope Roldan

WOOD-TV reports that Jose Antonio Roldan Jr., 40, and Ladesha Ann Powe, 29, confessed to heavy drinking and marijuana use before falling asleep while their child smothered to death. 

According to the court documents, Faith’s death was captured on a living room camera. The footage shows Roldan falling asleep on the couch and Powe nodding off while holding the baby. Faith slipped out of Powe’s arms, landing between Roldan, who weighs around 300 pounds, and the couch. 

According to court documents, Powe woke up at one point and searched for the baby but eventually gave up and went to her bedroom.

Roldan woke up briefly and readjusted the baby but dozed off again as the child became smothered in the cushions. The video shows Faith crying and kicking her feet until she dies.

When Roldan woke up, he found his daughter wedged between couch cushions and unresponsive. He woke up Powe, and she called 911. Faith was taken to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting described the footage as “horrific.”

“I’ve seen it and it’s not something that anyone should have to watch,” Getting said.

“It’s heartbreaking. It’s something that was completely unnecessary. It should have never happened.”

Getting added, “They both were in a position where they were responsible for caring for this young child. They failed in that regard in a grossly negligent way.”

An autopsy concluded that Faith died from asphyxia, and her death was classified as a homicide.

Roldan and Powe are charged with involuntary manslaughter and second-degree child abuse charges. They each face up to 15 years in prison if convicted. 

“Being a parent, it means being responsible and it means taking care of your kids, not just ignoring the risk that you’re putting them in. When you choose to use drugs or alcohol or other substances that interfere with your ability to be a parent, then you can’t do it while your kids are around and you certainly can’t do it while you’re responsible for caring for them,” Getting said.

WOOD-TV reports that Rand Powe’s other children are currently in the care of family members.

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