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‘You’re Not Innocent, But You’re Not Guilty’: Judge Finds Indianapolis Mother Who Confessed to Smothering Newborn in Couch Cushions While High on Meth Not Guilty of Neglect

An Indianapolis woman was found not guilty in a bench trial of charges stemming from the death of her 2-month-old child despite allegedly admitting to the crime.

It comes after court records say that Dacia Lacey confessed that she smothered her daughter, Alona, with couch pillows at her home in August 2022, according to Fox 59. She reportedly was on methamphetamine at the time and wanted the baby to stop crying so he could get rest. She wasn’t charged with neglect of a dependent, resulting in death, until months later. 

Although Judge Mark Stoner decided to grant Lacey a not guilty verdict, he still believed that she should’ve faced a different charge — like involuntary manslaughter, according to reports. He also mentioned that there was a lack of physical evidence of neglect and no injuries that pointed to long-term abuse. 

Indianapolis Mother Free, Found Not Guilty For Smothering Infant To Death
Dacia Lacey will not spend any additional jail time after she was found not guilty of neglect of a dependent resulting in death. (Photos: WTHR/YouTube screenshot)

In addition, the baby’s cause of death was considered “undetermined,” outlets reported.

“You’re not innocent, but you’re not guilty of what the state has charged you with,” Stoner said earlier this week following a three-day bench trial, WTHR reported.

He continued, “This is a case that happens when you’re a bad parent. There are some things you can never do. You can never have sole possession of your children and go out and use drugs.”

During the first day of the trial, Lacey’s other daughter went on the stand. She spoke about what she witnessed the day her sister died.

“Mom was mad, hit the baby with a pillow and put the pillow on her face,” the 5-year-old said, per WTHR. 

Indianapolis Police Detective Jamie Davis also testified, saying that Lacey’s story was initially inconsistent before she finally confessed. Per Law & Crime, citing an affidavit, Lacey told officials that her children were to blame, saying that they may have smothered the baby while she was making food, calling it an accident.

“Basically, she said that she was high, and she was tired, and Alona had been crying. Ultimately, she ended up picking up Alona and facing her towards the crease in the couch. So, if you have the back of the couch and then the seating area, she placed her face toward the crease,” Davis reportedly told the court.

When Lacey heard the judge’s decision, she sighed in relief and had a tearful reaction inside the courtroom.

“I do hope that you will take the opportunity to get the counseling that you need, to get the counseling for the children that you need,” Stoner added. “Learn from this behavior and hopefully the rest of the community learns from this behavior.”

Recently, a Michigan couple, 40-year-old Jose Antonio Roldan and 29-year-old Ladesha Ann Powe, was charged with involuntary manslaughter and second-degree child abuse after allegedly suffocating their 6-month-old daughter on their couch while intoxicated.

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