PENSACOLA, Fla. (TCD) -- A 34-year-old mother was arrested after police say she killed her special needs 14-year-old daughter while the teenager was in the hospital.
Pensacola Police Department Chief Eric Randall and a representative from the State’s Attorney's Office spoke at a press conference Tuesday regarding Jessica Bortle’s arrest. According to Randall, Bortle took her daughter Jasmine Singletary to Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital on July 8 to treat an infection. Randall said Singletary was a "special needs patient with neuromuscular disorder."
On July 13, Singletary was reportedly in her hospital room with Bortle and her grandmother. According to Randall, the teen "unexpectedly lost consciousness and stopped breathing." Hospital staff attempted life-saving measures on the 14-year-old, but she died.
Randall said in his press conference that the autopsy concluded Singletary "suffered massive injuries," which were reportedly "not present when she was admitted to the hospital." The medical examiner reportedly found the injuries were "so severe that Jasmine would have died only minutes after receiving them," and concluded they "had to have occurred while she was confined to her hospital bed."
Randall said after several interviews and investigative measures, they obtained an arrest warrant for Bortle on Friday. She was charged with manslaughter, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in state prison.
According to WEAR-TV, Bortle allegedly became upset when Singletary threw crayons across the room. The arrest report cited by WEAR says Bortle told police she "slammed the hospital table into Singletary’s abdomen and then leaned onto the table with her weight."
The Pensacola News Journal reports Singletary’s liver was crushed and "ripped open" as a result. Bortle’s arrest report said Singletary’s injuries were "similar to those found of traffic crash victims," according to the newspaper.
Bortle was booked into the Escambia County Jail and her bond was set at $500,000.