FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A woman charged in the death of her newborn son made her first appearance in court.
Alexandria Sladon-Marler was arrested Monday and charged with aggravated manslaughter and child neglect. Sladon-Marler appeared in bond court on Tuesday. Her hearing was reset to Wednesday afternoon.
On August 10, court records show Sladon-Marler, 33, went to the Broward Medical Center and told hospital staffers that she was bleeding from complications from an abortion a few days earlier. Doctors didn't believe her, and they told police it appeared she had just given birth.
Police said it happened in room number 118 at the Fort Lauderdale Beach Palace Hotel and Suites, located at 3711 North Ocean Drive, where police said Sladon-Marler had been staying since June.
A housekeeper who works there told Local 10 last week that Sladon-Marler asked her to come clean her room, which the housekeeper said was covered in blood.
Local 10 obtained a copy of the arrest warrant and the arrest affidavit, which confirmed, among other things, that the child was "delivered alive" and that the "umbilical cord was ripped /torn and not cut with an instrument." Court records show an autopsy revealed the infant had air in his lungs, an indication he was born alive.
According to the arrest affidavit, security cameras at the hotel captured: "Sladon-Marlor walking away form her room towards the stairs carrying a white 'bundle' in her right arm. She walks down the stairs to the parking lot."
It went on to say: "Sladon-Marler walks to the northern most trash can (where the child is later found) and places the bundle inside. She then goes to a nearby trash can and removes a large bag of trash which she goes back and places on to of her 'bundle' in the first trash can. Sladon-Marler walks up the stairs and towards her room without the 'bundle.'"
Police found the body of the baby boy in a pillow case which had been tossed into a garbage can behind the motel.
Melisa McNeill, a public defender representing Sladon-Marler, said her client suffers from a mental illness.
"She has serious mental health issues. She has neurological issues, and she was in complete denial she was ever pregnant," said McNeill.
McNeill asked Judge John Hurley to consider a reasonable bond. Judge Hurley indicated he was hesitant, citing several cases in the past where Sladon-Marler was before him on lesser charges but was a 'no show.' Her lawyer wants to introduce evidence and witnesses that despite her past, she is not a flight risk.
"They tried to get a Marchman Act in June," said McNeill. "She's been Baker Acted. This is a woman who clearly needs help. She doesn't need to be sitting in the Broward County Jail. She needs to get help for her mental illness."
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