Waco teen accused of trying to smother 4-month-old son

FORT WORTH -- A Waco teenager was behind bars Monday, accused of trying to smother her 4-month-old son in a Fort Worth hospital room Friday because "she wanted to make her life easier," police said.

Fort Worth police investigators have determined that Shantaniqua Nykole Scott, 17, had also tried three times before to suffocate the infant in Waco, according to Sgt. Pedro Criado, a police spokesman.

Scott was arrested Friday. Her bail is set at $25,000.

According to police, her son had been transferred to Cook Children's Medical Center from a Waco hospital July 12 because of recurring, life-threatening gastroesophageal reflux and apnea.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit written by Detective S.R. Lacroix, the infant had been staying in a video-monitored room when a code alarm sounded about 9:40 a.m. Friday, indicating that the boy's vital signs were failing.

Criado said medical personnel revived the barely breathing infant, who was then transferred to the pediatric intensive care unit.

Hospital staffers alerted police after they reviewed the video from the room and saw Scott first pressing a blanket, then just her hand, over the infant's face to block his breathing, Criado said.

That same day, Scott was interviewed by Detective Dennis Hutchins, with the crimes against children unit, then was arrested on a warrant accusing her of injury to a child/serious bodily injury, a first-degree felony. It carries the same punishment as criminal attempted capital murder -- five to 99 years in prison.

"Based on investigators' interviews, they determined that she was responsible for the smothering that occurred at Cook's as well as three other similar type of incidents that occurred in Waco," Criado said.

Marissa Gonzales, a spokeswoman with Child Protective Services, said the agency has taken custody of the infant.

"As far as the breathing episodes, they think he should recover just fine," she said.

Gonzales said the boy remained hospitalized Monday and will be placed in a foster home upon his release.

"We haven't been able to locate an appropriate relative at this point," she said.

Gonzales said CPS had no previous dealings with Scott.

Deanna Boyd, 817-390-7655

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