Atlanta mother waited hours to report murder of 6-month-old daughter, police say

ATLANTA — A metro Atlanta woman who police say waited hours to report the death of her 6-month-old daughter has been arrested on murder charges.

Police were called to an apartment on Center Street around 1 p.m. October 1 over reports of an unresponsive infant. Police said the child’s mother, Doneish’a Speight, called 911 after she told police she noticed the baby wasn’t breathing normally.

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The baby, who was named Angel, was taken to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead. According to hospital staff, they couldn’t get the baby’s temperature because she was too cold, which indicated she had been dead for an extended period of time. They also noticed bruising around the baby’s neck, which Speight said was from the child touching her own neck.


An autopsy revealed bruising on both cheeks and on the sides of the baby’s neck, bruising on the top of the baby’s head, a subdural hemorrhage of the brain, swelling of the brain and a hemorrhage on the left optical nerve. The injuries were consistent with blunt force trauma, according to police.

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Speight repeatedly denied fault in the baby’s death, but then said she hit the baby’s head against the railing of her crib while she was cleaning up. Her account of how the baby died was not consistent with the autopsy’s findings. It also didn’t account for “the length of time in which Angel was deceased which was several hours before 911 was called.”

Speight indicated that she was angry at the father of one of her other children when the incident happened.

Speight was arrested on felony murder and felony cruelty to children.