ST. LOUIS -- The staff at a local hospital likely saved the life of a six month old whose mother, prosecutors say, was repeatedly smothering him in February of 2010.

When the 21-year-old mother, named Samantha, brought her baby boy to SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center, prosecutors say she told doctors her son had twice stopped breathing and turned blue.

And twice again, say prosecutors, it happened at the hospital - with the staff reviving the child and finding nothing wrong.

Then, with the child under video surveillance, the child stopped breathing again. The video shows the mother putting her hand over his nose and mouth three times for as long as two and a half minutes.

The six month old kicks and flails his arms until he turns blue and went limp.

"There was no medical reason for this," says St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce. "And each time it happened the mother was the only one present. So, they had those suspicions but once they saw the video tape the mother was immediately arrested."

The staff revived the child and he is now living with his father.
The mother, whose last name KSDK is not using to protect the identity of the child, pleaded guilty this week to five felonies and will be sentenced in August.