Columbus pediatrician: 7-month-old baby died slowly; 9 lbs. at death
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A jury found a woman guilty on all counts for the murder of her infant daughter. Jessica Shah is accused of starving her 7-month-old daughter to death in 2011.
The mother of four took the stand Thursday. A week before baby Alejandra Molina died her mother, Jessica Shah, testified the baby seemed to struggle to breathe. Shah described the house as "very hot" that summer due to a broken air conditioner.
The soft-spoken mother said she loved her daughter very much and saw no signs that she was dehydrated nor did she notice the baby crying more than usual.
The mother of four was a was a stay-at-home mom, but she allowed her 14-year-old be the primary caregiver because the teenager always asked to feed and change the baby's diaper.
Prosecution asked Shah why she did not check on baby "Ale" for 16 hours, she said the baby usually slept through the night and she did not want to wake her up.
Shah says there is an explanation for the bug bites doctors found on baby Alejandra. She said to keep the children cool, she bought a kiddy pool for them to play in and while outside, the baby was bitten by mosquito's.
Columbus Pediatrician Doctor Joseph Zanga said Alejandra died a slow gradual death and weighed only nine pounds when she was found dead in her crib. He said gradual starvation caused the 7-month-old to suffer from dehydration.
Dr. Zanga added there were no pre-existing factors that would have contributed to the baby's death – there were several signs Alejandra was chronically dehydrated, including not having any baby fat, a very dry cotton-like mouth and sunken eyes.
Jurors also heard from two WIC nutritionists who testified Shah was given free high-calorie formula to feed Alejandra - who was born premature.
Both sides rested their cases Thursday.
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