Crime

Alorton mother pleads guilty to suffocating baby while they slept on couch together

The house in Alorton where 6-month-old Mariah McCorkle suffocated while asleep on the couch with her mother, Kimberly Jenkins.
The house in Alorton where 6-month-old Mariah McCorkle suffocated while asleep on the couch with her mother, Kimberly Jenkins. dholtmann@bnd.com

An Alorton mother pleaded guilty Wednesday to endangering and killing her 6-month-old daughter as they slept on a couch together.

As part of a plea deal, 35-year-old Kimberly Jenkins will spend 30 months on probation and serve 26 weekends in jail. She will also have to attend substance abuse treatment and comply with the Department of Child and Family Services and the Children's Home and Aid Society. Jenkins is not allowed to drink alcohol during her time on probation.

Jenkins was charged in May 2017 after her 6-month-old daughter, Mariah McCorkle, suffocated while the two were asleep on the couch together and while Jenkins was under the influence of alcohol. Jenkins told the BND in May that another child of hers had died in a similar fashion four years earlier.

Mario McCorkle, Mariah's father, was sleeping on a long couch while his daughter and Jenkins slept on a shorter couch. When Jenkins woke up, she went to pick Mariah up and realized she wasn't breathing.

mariah mccorkle.jpg
Mariah McCorkle died at 6 months old after she suffocated while sleeping on a couch with her mother. Serenity Memorial Chapel

She ran to get her mother, Jenkins said, then rushed Mariah to Touchette Regional Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 5:40 a.m. May 21.

Multiple friends and family members wrote letters to the court in Jenkins' defense. Jenkins has five other children and a grandchild who live with her, her mother Dorothy Jenkins wrote. All the letters said the same thing: that Jenkins loves her kids and would never purposely hurt them.

"She is a good mother and she will never do anything to hurt none her children and she will not let nobody hurt them," Dorothy Jenkins said. "She loves and misses her baby she still cry all the time ... She love her baby so much, her children needs her and she needs them."

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