MARKHAM, Ill. — After beating and suffocating her baby to make the boy stop crying Wednesday night, a south suburban woman walked around with the dead infant in a BabyBjorn for several hours the next day, prosecutors claim.

Ken Blackman Jr., 3 months, of Calumet City, was pronounced dead at Ingalls Memorial Hospital in Harvey at 11:40 a.m. Thursday, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

An autopsy showed the infant, whose death was a homicide by suffocation, had been dead for up to 14 hours prior to that time, prosecutors said at a bond hearing for Ken’s mother Monday at the Markham courthouse.

Judge Darron Bowden ordered Toyrianna Smith, 20, of 534 Luella Ave. in Calumet City, held on $1 million bond Monday, according to Cook County State’s Attorney’s office spokesman Andy Conklin. She is charged with first-degree murder.

According to prosecutors, Smith took her 3-year-old daughter and the baby with her to a friend’s home at 14923 Washtenaw Ave. in Harvey on Wednesday night, where she did her hair, hung out with friends and drank vodka.

She and her kids spent the night in a guest room, but during the night the baby began to cry, prosecutors said in court. Smith allegedly told police she placed a blanket over the baby’s head, then struck him three or four times in the face until he was quiet.

Later that night he started crying again, and Smith told police she again put the blanket over the baby’s head, struck him three or times in the face, then pressed down on the child until his arms started jerking and he was quiet, Conklin said, citing court records.

The next morning, Smith dressed the dead baby, and when the boy’s father came to pick him up, she had the homeowner claim they’d already left. When asked why the baby was not moving, Smith said he was asleep, prosecutors alleged.

She placed the infant in the BabyBjorn and over the next several hours, Smith took the dead baby with her shopping to a couple of stores and then to a neighbor’s home in Harvey, according to prosecutors.

The neighbor, who suspected the baby was not breathing and saw blood on the blanket, called 911, and Ken was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead, prosecutors claim.

The autopsy showed the cause of death was suffocation and also noted nose and mouth trauma. The medical examiner’s office said Ken had been dead for eight to 14 hours before pronouncement.

Harvey police conducted a death investigation and Smith allegedly admitted killing the child because he would not quit crying, even demonstrating for police on a doll how she struck and suffocated him, prosecutors allege.

The Department of Children & Family Services is investigating allegations of abuse against the mother, agency spokesman Kendall Marlowe said.

A preliminary hearing for Smith was set for July 14 in Markham, Conklin said. 

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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