Prosecutors: Vodka remedy killed baby

Aug. 21, 2008 at 12:19 PM
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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Aug. 21 (UPI) -- A couple in Broward County, Fla., killed their 3-month-old child by using vodka to help the baby sleep, prosecutors allege.

Prosecutors said Mardala Derival, 24, and Mackenson Dantus, 27, should be convicted of manslaughter and aggravated child-abuse for the death of their daughter on Valentine's Day 2004, The Miami Herald said Thursday.

Yet Sandra Perlman, an attorney representing Dantus, has defended the couple's actions that night, saying the first-time parents were merely attempting to help their sick child.

''Never in a million years did he think his actions would harm his child,'' Perlman said in court Wednesday. "His child was sick, and he felt what he was doing was right.''

Dantus told police investigating the discovery of the infant's dead body on Feb. 14, 2004, that the vodka-laden home remedy he used to aid his child was from his native Haiti. The Herald said he also told investigators his child had ingested the same remedy a week earlier with no apparent repercussions.

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