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Published: Wednesday, 3/12/2008

South Toledo mother convicted in baby's death

Tarver Tarver
THE BLADE/AMY E. VOIGT Enlarge | Buy This Photo

A woman accused of accidentally smothering her infant son after she fell asleep while drunk was convicted yesterday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court of involuntary manslaughter.

Aisha Tarver, 29, of 5981 Thunder Hollow Drive, pleaded no contest and was found guilty by Judge Charles Doneghy.

James Vail, a county assistant prosecutor, said he will recommend that Tarver receive community control rather than incarceration when she is sentenced April 3.

However, the prosecutor's recommendation is nonbinding, and Tarver could still face up to five years behind bars.

Mr. Vail said a misdemeanor charge of child endangering will be dropped.

Yesterday, Mr. Vail told the court the circumstances surrounding the death of 6-month-old Damarion Williams.

Tarver was celebrating her 29th birthday the night of Oct. 8 and "drank in excess" - two to three bottles of gin, according to Mr. Vail. She went to bed at her boyfriend's house and placed her infant son in the bed with her, Mr. Vail said.

"Sometime in the night, she rolled on top of him," he said. She attempted to revive the child in the morning, but couldn't. She then took the child to her mother's home and called for assistance. The infant was pronounced dead at St. Luke's Hospital.

Tarver stood before the judge yesterday, and answered his questions in a very quiet voice.

Tarver's mother and the father of her child sat in the front row of the courtroom. Her mother clutched a tissue and appeared upset as Mr. Vail recounted her daughter's actions.

Mr. Vail said the prosecutor's office was recommending community control because Tarver showed "genuine remorse," and because the child's death was accidental.

"She'll have to live with knowing that she killed her child," Mr. Vail said. "This was negligent, and not intentional."

Tarver's attorney, Dick Roberts, also said community control was an appropriate punishment.

"What's occurred will be more punishment forever," Mr. Roberts said.

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