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Now browsing: Hometown News > News > Martin County

Mother charged in infant's death
Rating: 4.01 / 5 (152 votes)  
Posted: 2012 Dec 28 - 06:49

By Samantha Joseph

Staff writer

MARTIN COUNTY -- A grand jury has indicted a 20-year-old woman in the death of her 3-month-old baby.

It is the second arrest in the case involving a former Stuart family.

Skyler French is charged with child neglect and being an accessory after the fact to felony murder.

Investigators said Ms. French's son, Bryson Guadagno, had difficulty breathing when he arrived at Martin Memorial on Jan. 27, 2001. Within days, the child lost all brain activity and was removed from life support, Stuart Police Detective Michael Rice said in a press release.

Arrest records show Ms. French and her boyfriend, Charles William Dowell Jr., provided conflicting accounts of what happened to Bryson. Their accounts included stories of the child hitting his head during a bath and falling from the bed.

But an autopsy later found the boy died from blunt head trauma, and the medical examiner's office ruled the death a homicide.

No further details about the circumstances surrounding the child's death were available at press time.

About a year and a half after the boy's death, investigators with the Stuart Police Department and the Martin County Sheriff's Office arrested Mr. Dowell in connection with the incident.

They charged him with first-degree murder and aggravated battery on a child.

They continued the investigation and said they found evidence to build a case against Ms. French.

Working with the state attorney's office, they convened a grand jury to hear the evidence.

On Dec. 20, the grand jury handed down an indictment.

Ms. French is being held without bond at the Martin County Jail.

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