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Indianapolis mother found not guilty of smothering 2-year-old to death

Dacia Lacey, a mother who was on trial for the killing of her 2-month-old daughter in 2022, was found not guilty on April 17, 2024, according to online court records. (Provided Photo/Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A mother who was on trial for the killing of her 2-month-old daughter in 2022 was found not guilty on Wednesday, according to online court records.

Judge Mark D. Stoner found Dacia Lacey, 33, not guilty on a count of neglect of a dependent resulting in death. Online court records did not explain the judge’s ruling. News 8 was not in court for the ruling.

The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office said it would not be sending out information to the news media following the judge’s ruling.

According to court documents, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers were dispatched at 10:24 a.m. Aug. 29, 2022, to the 2700 block of Burton Avenue on the northwest side of Indianapolis for a 2-month-old who was not awake or breathing.

Medics arrived and provided medical care to the infant, Alona Lacey. She was pronounced deceased at 10:34 a.m.

Dacia told responding officers Alona had no known medical conditions. Dacia told detectives she thought one of her other three children might have rolled on top of Alona and found couch pillows on the infant.

Dacia said she bathed Alona and then moved her to the couch where she propped up a bottle to feed her. Dacia’s other daughter had asked her for a drink, so she got up and went to do that.

Dacia told investigators she went to her own room first to get everything ready to go to the laundromat before getting the kids something to drink. When she checked on the kids, she didn’t see Alona, moved the blanket back, and noticed the 2-month-old’s arm wasn’t moving.

On Sept. 1, 2022, detectives received an email regarding Dacia’s father’s girlfriend, Jennifer Armstrong, saying Dacia’s 3-year-old daughter made a spontaneous comment to her saying her mom put a pillow over Alona’s face because she was crying. Detectives followed up with Armstrong, who said the 3-year-old daughter told her, “Mommy’s baby died and he was crying, and mom put a pillow over her face.”

Armstrong said she was shocked by the 3-year-old daughter’s words and recorded what she said. Armstrong said she spoke with Dacia about Alonas’s death. According to Armstrong, Dacia admitted to using ecstasy the night before Alona died, Aug. 28, but then said it was the Friday before, Aug. 26.

On Sept. 2, an autopsy report came back confirming Alona died from smothering.

On Sept. 19, the drug screen Dacia took on Aug. 29, revealed Dacia had 77.2 ml of amphetamine in her system as well as 162.5 milliliter of methamphetamine in her system.

According to an affidavit, In January 2023, Dacia admitted to accidentally smothering her baby with couch cushions because she was so high and needed to sleep.

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