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Iowa father of suffocated baby pleads guilty to charges

February 24, 2018

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Ankeny man whose baby died after becoming wedged between a mattress and a wall has pleaded guilty to child endangerment and other counts.

The Des Moines Register reports that 48-year-old Matthew Cohara recently pleaded guilty to child endangerment and possession of marijuana and cocaine in a deal with prosecutors. In exchange, Cohara must attend substance abuse evaluation and treatment and may get deferred judgment.

Police were called to the Ankeny home of Cohara and 33-year-old Michelle Atwell on Aug. 26 after the 7-month-old baby was found not breathing. Police say the baby became wedged between the bed and wall and suffocated after Atwell left her on the bed for hours after breast-feeding her. An autopsy found a cocaine byproduct in the baby’s system.

Atwell has pleaded not guilty to child endangerment causing substantial risk and several drug charges. Her trial is set to begin April 30.

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Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com

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