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A Florida mother has been charged with killing her teenage daughter during a hospital visit.
Pensacola Police claim Jessica Bortle, 34, killed 14-year-old Jasmine Singletary while she lay in her hospital bed during an argument over crayons.
On July 8 the teen, who is a special needs patient, was taken to Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital after developing an infection.
Five days later Jasmine suddenly lost consciousness while her mother and grandmother were visiting her in the ward.
Hospital staff quickly rushed in an attempted life-saving procedures, but were unsuccessful; Jasmine was pronounced dead shortly afterward.
But on July 21, Pensacola Police Department were contacted by the Medical Examiner’s Office, after an autopsy revealed the teenager had injuries that were not present when she was admitted to hospital, including catastrophic damage to her ribs and liver.
It found her internal wounds were caused by blunt force trauma, and were akin to “those found on traffic crash victims.”
According to the Medical Examiner, the injuries were so severe she would have died within minutes of them being inflicted — meaning she had to have sustained them while in the hospital bed.
Police then interviewed Bortle; they said she initially lied claiming nothing had happened in the hospital room, before finally admitted being the one behind the injuries.
According to the arrest report, she admitted slamming a hospital table into her daughter’s abdomen and leaning on it with all her weight; she said she did it after Jasmine swore at her about colored crayons.
Bortle was arrested and charged with manslaughter. Her bond was set at $500,000, per WKRG.
If convicted, she could face up to 30 years in prison.
“Our goal is to continue to work closely with the State Attorney’s Office in the prosecution of this case,” Pensacola PD spokesman Officer Mike Wood said in a statement. “The Pensacola Police Department extends its deepest sympathies to the family of Jasmine Singletary.”
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