April 14, 1995 in Nation/World

Mom Hurls Toddler Out Of Window Sister: Sleepless Woman Threw Boy From 8th Floor Apartment

Debra Hale Associated Press
 

A distraught and sleepless mother hurled her 16-month-old son to his death through a closed, eighth-floor window when he wouldn’t stop crying, police and her sister said Thursday.

The boy, wearing only a diaper, landed on the muddy ground Wednesday outside the Robert Taylor Homes, a gang-ridden housing project.

Deborah Turner, 35, was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Tyler Marshall and was jailed without bail.

“What she did was madness,” said Turner’s sister, Edwina Banks. “She didn’t have to toss her flesh and blood out the window. All he wanted her to do was hold him. … I don’t know what made her snap.”

Police Cmdr. Charles Smith said she confessed. “The mother was mad at the child for crying,” he said.

Police were investigating reports from neighbors and others that Turner had been smoking crack and drinking, Sgt. Daniel Fitzgerald said. Banks said her sister did not use drugs.

The state Department of Children and Family Services will take protective custody of Turner’s other children, ages 8, 12 and 13, spokesman Scott Hamilton said.

The boy was thrown from Banks’ apartment, where Turner was visiting.

Turner was under a lot of stress, her sister said. She was raising her children alone, was facing eviction from her apartment and hadn’t slept or eaten for three or four days, according to Banks.

“She was acting all distraught, walking and saying things that didn’t make sense,” Banks said.

“I said, ‘Deborah, try to eat something.’ … She got up, and she carried the baby” into the bedroom. Then, Banks and others in the apartment heard glass breaking. She rushed into the room and saw the shattered window.

“She was standing there by the window. I said, ‘Deborah, why did you do that?’ … She couldn’t say anything. So, I just slapped her as hard as I could,” then ran downstairs to check on the boy, Banks said.


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