Mom charged in death of 7-month-old son in Texas, police say

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — A 19-year-old woman in Texas is facing capital murder charges in the death of her 7-month-old son.

Johnette Dukes reported her son, A’Legend Dukes, missing on May 8, according to El Paso police.

Dukes told police she woke up from a nap and her infant was gone.

Responding officers searched for the baby in and around the home and found him inside a laundry basket underneath piled clothing, an official release said.

Officers attempted CPR, but the infant was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

According to a police affidavit, investigators said there was no evidence to support that the child was able to crawl or climb into the laundry basket himself.

Investigators believe the child was “intentionally placed in the basket and concealed by the defendant, by stacking a large amount of clothing and compressing the clothing,” according to the affidavit.

Dukes’ brother-in-law, Timoteo Elizondo, said he does not believe she’s guilty of her baby’s death.

“She’s very innocent. What they say about her is just wrong. I just want to let the people know to give her a chance,” Elizondo said. “She’s a person who’s very loving, very caring. She loved that baby a lot. She loved A’Legend a lot. That was her son. She wouldn’t do that.”

According to medical examiners, asphyxia was a factor in the baby boy’s death.

Dukes was arrested Friday and was booked into the El Paso County Detention Facility, where she is awaiting a bond hearing.

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