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A Florida mother has been accused of killing her 14-year-old special needs daughter inside a hospital room over a fight about crayons, police say.
Jessica Bortle, 34, is now facing charges of manslaughter after Pensacola Police said she slammed a hospital table so hard into her daughter’s stomach she caused injuries “similar to those found on traffic crash victims,” according to an arrest report obtained by local station WEAR.
According to police, Bortle and her mother had been alone in a hospital room at Ascension Sacred Heart on July 13 with her 14-year-old daughter, Jasmine Singletary, when the girl unexpectedly lost consciousness and stopped breathing, the arrest report said.
Hospital staff rushed in to try to save the child's life, but her injuries were so extensive she died just a few minutes later.
Singletary reportedly suffered from a neuromuscular disorder that often required routine treatment at the hospital, The Pensacola News Journal reports. The teen had checked into the hospital for an infection days earlier on July 8.
An autopsy would later determine the 14-year-old died from massive internal injuries to her ribs and liver that were “similar to those found on car crash victims.” The medical examiner determined the injuries had been caused by “blunt force trauma,” according to police.
Authorities said Bortle initially lied to police, claiming not to know how her daughter had died, before allegedly admitting that she had slammed a table into her daughter’s stomach during an argument, according to the report.
Bortle flew into a rage, according to police, after the teen broke and threw some crayons. She allgedly told police she “slammed the hospital table into Singletary’s abdomen and then leaned onto the table with her weight,” according to the police report, also obtained by NorthEscambia.com.
The teen’s grandmother, who had also been in the room at the time, provided police with a similar account of what occurred just minutes before the teenager’s death.
“The loss of Jasmine was an unimaginable tragedy for those who loved her and it was heart-breaking for the nurses and doctors in our Children’s Hospital who cared for her,” Ascension Sacred Heart said in a statement obtained by the outlet. “We send our deepest sympathies and our prayers for her family and all who knew her.”
Bortle is currently being held at the Escambia County Jail on a $500,000 bond, according to jail records.
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