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Mother charged with murder 8 years after putting plastic bag over son's head

Posted at 9:00 PM, Apr 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-08 10:34:01-04

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Clarksville mother faces a first-degree murder charge, 8 years after putting a plastic bag over her infant son's head.

David Slee III died last May after complications from pneumonia. Police say those complications were caused eight years ago, and this week prosecutors charged Yvette Slee with first-degree murder.

Yvette Slee is already in prison after being convicted of attempted murder in the death of her son. In March of 2011, she put a plastic bag over her 8-month-old son's head. The bag caused him to have seizures and left her son severely disabled.

"I don't know why she did what she did," David Slee Jr., the boy's father and Yvette Slee's ex-husband said. Slee Jr. continued to raise his son for seven years after the incident. Slee III struggled with severe disabilities through his life.

"80 percent brain damage, blindness, hearing loss, he wasn't able to walk, talk," Slee Jr. said. "We didn't even think he'd make it to Christmas to be honest, so when he made it past Christmas it was a miracle."

"I want her to be given the maximum sentence to be honest. I don't want her to see the light of day," David Slee Jr. said. "She robbed not only him, but me of a lot of firsts. His first birthday. I never got to hear him say 'I love you.' She's done a lot of damage."

Legal experts aren't convinced the charges will stand up in court. Analysts say the issue isn't the amount of time that passed, but rather that Slee was already convicted of attempted murder.

"The due process clause prohibits a person from being tried for the same offense. Is attempted homicide and homicide the same offense? Under the supreme court's analysis the answer is probably no, because each crime has a separate element, the other one doesn't," Todd said.