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Murder conviction upheld for woman who smothered infant | Crime

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Murder conviction upheld for woman who smothered infant
Murder conviction upheld for woman who smothered infant

NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. -- The Supreme Court of Georgia has upheld the murder conviction and life prison sentence given to a Newton County woman who smothered her infant daughter.

Quanitta Yvette Turner appealed to the state's high court, saying her original jury was not show enough evidence to send her to prison. She also argued that a police officer who interviewed her after her daughter's death coerced her into admitting she beat the baby, which "grossly misrepresented (her) Fifth Amendment right to remain silent."

But a Supreme Court of Georgia justice wrote in Tuesday's decision that Turner had been read her Miranda rights, and the statements she made during her police interview "were voluntary and admissible," and not made under fear of injury or punishment.

Turner's 5-month-old daughter, Malay Chandler, was found unresponsive on Nov. 19, 2007. Turner, then 22, called 911 to say she believed she rolled on top of her daughter while she and the infant slept. Malay was pronounced dead at Newton Medical Center.

An autopsy revealed the baby suffered a bruise under her left eye, an abrasion on her lip and bleeding beneath the skin on her back. The cause of death was originally listed as "undetermined."

In July 2010, Malay's father posted two Facebook comments saying Turner killed their daughter. Turner took out a restraining order against him, prompting him to go to the police and report that Turner held her hand over Malay's nose and mouth until the baby stopped breathing.

Police reopened the investigation into Malay's death. They interviewed Turner twice in August 2010. During the first interview, she admitted to covering her child's nose and mouth. In her second interview, she said she beat Malay as many as eight times with a remote control when the baby would not stop crying.

In August 2012, a Newton County jury found Turner guilty of felony murder, aggravated assault and first-degree cruelty to children.