A Tennessee father has been charged with first-degree murder and child abuse after his 4-month-old daughter suffocated to death because he fell on top of her while high on fentanyl in April. While Jesse Wayne Craddock, 38, survived the ordeal, his innocent infant daughter did not.
Police received a call from a concerned citizen. Officers from the Lebanon Police Department and paramedics turned up to a motel on Murfreesboro Road after receiving reports of an unresponsive infant and man. When they arrived, Craddock was said to be “responsive but disoriented,” according to a police report.
The baby was rushed to a local hospital. The 4-month old was taken to Vanderbilt Wilson County Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. An autopsy revealed that she died via asphyxiation from her father falling asleep in a drugged stupor on top of her, essentially smothering her to death.
Craddock had narcotics on him when arrested. While he was clearly under the influence and barely conscious when officers arrived, their suspicion was confirmed when they found narcotics on him as well. He was under the influence of fentanyl, one of the deadliest and most dangerous drugs in the world.
The baby’s mother had left the little girl with her dad while she was at work. Craddock was meant to be caring for his daughter, but instead, he got high and passed out on top of her, staying there until well after she died.
Craddock has now been charged with the baby’s murder. The prosecution is charging him with first-degree murder, the most serious (and usually premeditated) of charges, as well as aggravated child abuse/neglect and fentanyl possession. He was already at Wilson County Jail on a probation violation when the charges were filed. He’s due to appear in court on July 26.