By Calvin Palmer
A Florida mother charged with the murder of her three-month-old son by shaking him to death pleaded guilty today to second-degree murder
Alexandra V. Tobias, 22, of Arlington, Jacksonville, was arrested in January after the death of Dylan Lee Edmondson.
The Florida Times-Union reported that Tobias had told police she had been playing a computer game called Farmville on the social networking Web site, Facebook, when Dylan started crying. She said she shook the baby before calling 911 and his head “could have” hit the computer.
“I think what sparked her was … the baby’s crying,” said Lt Larry Schmitt of Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office homicide unit.”It was enough to apparently put her over the edge.”
Tobias also told police after the first shake, she laid Dylan on a living-room couch and went to smoke a cigarette to “gain her composure”. She said the family dog knocked the boy off the couch, causing him to cry. She said she picked him up and shook him again, causing him to stop breathing, at which point she called 911.
The baby was taken to Wolfson’s Children’s Hospital with injuries to his head and a broken leg. He was pronounced dead 24 hours later. The autopsy found abusive head trauma.
Tobias entered her plea today before Circuit Judge Adrian G. Soud. She faces a minimum sentence of 25 years.
Judge Soud offered no promises on what he will order during a sentencing hearing scheduled for December.
Outside the courtroom, Prosecutor Richard Mantei said the plea by Tobias will help avoid the family reliving the tragedy during a jury trial.
[Based on a report by The Florida Times Union.]