Woman charged with death of newborn son is mentally ill


Booking photo of Alexandria Sladon-Marler.

A Fort Lauderdale woman arrested Monday for allegedly abandoning her newborn son in a hotel trash dumpster suffers from severe mental illness, brain damage and substance abuse, her defense attorney said Tuesday shortly after a magistrate hearing in Broward Circuit Court.

Alexandria Sladon-Marler, 33, is charged with aggravated manslaughter and child neglect for allegedly leaving her newborn son to die in a dumpster at the hotel where she had been living, the Fort Lauderdale Beach Palace Hotel and Suites on North Ocean Boulevard.

Sladon-Marler, who has not yet entered a plea, is being held without bond in a Broward jail. She is scheduled to appear before Circuit Judge John Hurley on Wednesday, when her defense attorney will tell the judge about Sladon-Marler’s community ties in hopes of winning her release on bail.

Melisa McNeill, an assistant public defender representing Sladon-Marler, said her client may have been delusional about her pregnancy because she suffers from severe mental illness, and brain damage stemming from a car accident Sladon-Marler had at the age of 15.

McNeill said Sladon-Marler has been Baker Acted, or involuntarily committed for mental health evaluation, “several times.” She said that a family member concerned about Sladon-Marler’s pregnancy also attempted to have her involuntarily committed for substance abuse treatment under the Marchman Act in June, but that the effort failed after four hearings before a judge.

“So you have somebody who has mental health issues, neurological issues and substance abuse issues, all going untreated,’’ McNeill said.

McNeill stopped short of saying that Sladon-Marler admits to abandoning her son in a dumpster, and said she still needs to review the related police reports.

Miami Herald


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