Couple Indicted After Second Baby Dies While Co-Sleeping

Filed under: In The News

When Mark and Vanessa Clark's first baby died at just 39 days old in 2009, no charges were filed and the death was ruled an accident.

But the Texas couple has now been indicted for child endangerment, a felony, after their second child also died while co-sleeping with the parents, ABC News reports, adding that the Clarks, if convicted, could get six months to two years in jail and $10,000 in fines.

The charges state the Clarks "intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or with criminal negligence" put the child at risk of "imminent danger of death, bodily injury, or physical or mental impairment, by sleeping with said child in the same bed when said child that was less than four months of age," according to the network.

Previously, Vanessa Clark has been convicted and served time in jail on charges including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, theft, trespass and "assault causes bodily injury family member," ABC reports.

Hudson Police Chief Jeff Burns tells ABC News Sudden Infant Death Syndrome was ruled the cause of death for the couple's first child.

"There were no charges, no trauma, no forensic evidence that indicated criminal activity," he tells the network.

ABC reports the Clarks were ordered to take a child sleep safety course that teaches parents to have their children sleep alone.

"We love our children. We would never do anything to hurt them!" Mark Clark wrote in a Facebook message to a Texas ABC affiliate. "Ask anyone who knows us what kind of parents we are. Promise you will get nothing but good reports! These so called DA detectives and CPS workers are just trying to make an example out of us, but here's where the catch is: They're not."

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.