Mother pleads guilty to suffocating baby while sleeping on couch - KMOV.com

Mother pleads guilty to suffocating baby while sleeping on couch

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Police are on the lookout for 35-year-old Kimberly A. Jenkins after an autopsy released Tuesday revealed her daughter, six-month-old Mariah McCorkle, suffocated. (Credit: KMOV) Police are on the lookout for 35-year-old Kimberly A. Jenkins after an autopsy released Tuesday revealed her daughter, six-month-old Mariah McCorkle, suffocated. (Credit: KMOV)
ALORTON (KMOV.com) -

"We're doing it slowly, but surely," said Pam McCorkle-Lee

Pam McCorkle-Lee said her family has strong roots in Alorton, Illinois. 

The majority of her loved ones live just feet away from each other.

Last May, McCorkle-Lee's 6-month-old niece, Mariah McCorkle, died tragically.

An autopsy revealed the infant suffocated while sleeping on the couch with her mother, Kimberly Jenkins, who was under the influence of alcohol at the time.

"I was devastated and hurt, but all of us are coming together to help them as much as we can," said McCorkle-Lee. "We're going to always be there for them, we're the McCorkle family."

Jenkins was arrested in June, she pleaded guilty to child endangerment leading to death Wednesday.

"A young child that age sleep in the same bed as an adult can lead to deadly consequences," said St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly.

St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly told News 4 the prosecution pushed for a 2.5-year prison sentence.

"We think a message needs to be sent that these are not just tragedies that happen by accident," said Kelly. "There are choices made by individuals."

According to the plea agreement, Jenkins will spend 30 months on probation, serve 26 weekends in jail and attend substance abuse treatment.

Her loved ones are hopeful she'll get the help she needs.

"She will get herself together," said McCorkle-Lee. "Stop drinking, and come home with the rest of the kids, so they can live as one again."

Jenkins has five other children and a grandchild.

Her friends and family members wrote letters to the court in her defense, claiming that she loves her children and would never harm any of them on purpose. 

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