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Florida man charged with manslaughter after he smothered an infant while high, cops say

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Source: Brevard County Sheriff's Office

Dec. 19 2021, Published 11:21 a.m. ET

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A Florida man rolled on top of an infant while high, killing the child and now police say both he and the victim's mom face charges.

Police in Melbourne, Florida, responded to a report of a dead child on July 28. When they arrived, they found an 18-month-old girl named lying on the floor unresponsive. Police and paramedics attempted life-saving measures, but the infant was pronounced deceased at the scene.

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Authorities 18-month-old child was living in a small camper-style trailer with her mother, Melissa Lehman, her boyfriend, and a friend of the couple identified as Mark Shriver.

"The trailer was littered with trash, drug paraphernalia to include hypodermic needles, prescription medication, loose wiring, and a loaded firearm, all of which were within reach of the child, along with rotten food and insects were prevalent throughout the trailer," according to a report from The Melbourne Police.

Investigators said Shriver had been sleeping with the child on a 38-inch by 75-inch bed in the months prior to her death.

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Authorities believed Shriver rolled on top of the child, which caused her to suffocate. During separate interviews, all three adults stated that, "nothing was out of the ordinary, however, both men, including Shriver, admitted to using drugs intravenously the night prior."

The Brevard County Medical Examiner ruled the child's death resulted from cocaine toxicity with probable mechanical asphyxia.

"Charlotte was co-sleeping with a full-grown adult male, one of the roommates. In a bed that measured no more than 38 inches. And the top of that the bed was filthy. There was blood. Old blood, skin shedding. Just horrible," Melbourne Police Det. Tom Cahalan told WESH 2 News.

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Lehman was arrested for aggravated manslaughter of a child and child neglect “after police determined Lehman did not provide a safe environment for her toddler and thus contributed to her death,” on Nov. 23. She is currently being held at the Brevard County Jail.

On Dec. 16, an arrest warrant was issued for Shiver for aggravated manslaughter of a child and child neglect. Police in Brevard County, Florida, arrested Shiver around 5:30 p.m. He is also being held at the Brevard County Jail.

Donald Loughran, with the state attorney’s office, said Shriver has a criminal history with children, which included cruelty to children that resulted in him going on probation, according to ClickOrlando.com.

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