Sikeston woman charged in death of infant daughter

Friday, June 21, 2002

SIKESTON, Mo. -- A Sikeston woman whose 2-month-old daughter was taken to Missouri Delta Medical Center with a head trauma Wednesday has been charged with murdering another daughter who died in February.

Samantha Jean Lewis, 23, has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death Feb. 10 of her 11-month-old daughter, Alexia Lewis, and has been charged with assaulting two other daughters.

During questioning about the injuries to 2-month-old Katyra Lewis, police said Lewis admitted to suffocating Alexia in February because she could not get her to stop crying. An autopsy at the time by Scout County Coroner Scott Amick could not determine the cause of death.

Police reports taken at the time said Lewis told police she found the child in her bed not breathing and ran two blocks to call the father at work to come take them to the emergency room.

Police said Lewis also admitted to swinging Katyra by the ankles and striking her head on a bassinet Monday, two days before she was brought to the hospital.

Lewis also has been charged with assaulting a 3-year-old daughter, whose pelvis was broken in an incident in June 2000.

Lewis is being held without bond at the police station, pending transfer to the Scott County Jail. Her three remaining children have been removed from the home.