Age: 5 mos.
Born: May 3, 2010
Died: Oct 24, 2010
Suspect in death: Jilliean Phillips, mother
Phillips, whose five older children had been removed by the Denver Department of Human Services because of concerns about abuse or neglect, told police she knew there were risks when she put Samantha in bed with her, according to an arrest affidavit.
That night she was "just being lazy," she told police.
Child-protection workers had crossed paths with Samantha's family 11 times before her death.
Before Samantha was born, child-welfare services received seven reports that Phillips was late in either dropping off or picking up her children at school. In 2007, when the school called caseworkers, Phillips suggested that her 7-year-old son retrieve her daughter from the school.
In 2008, Phillips stabbed her husband, Samuel Brown, while her four children were in the home. Brown drove himself to a hospital with superficial wounds.
Phillips' four oldest children were removed from the home. One year later, Phillips gave birth to her fifth child in a bathtub. The baby boy, who tested positive for cocaine and alcohol, spent the first five days of his life in a neonatal intensive-care unit.
He was placed in foster care immediately after he was released from the hospital.
A county and state review of Samantha's death found that as allegations of neglect and abuse stacked up, so did missteps by caseworkers.
Before Samantha's siblings were removed, child-protection workers entered incomplete notes and failed to complete interviews in a timely manner, and documents in one case appeared to be missing, the review showed.
Phillips tested positive for cocaine while she was pregnant with Samantha. When Samantha was born, Phillips and Brown agreed to take part in treatment, and Samantha was sent home with her parents.
An autopsy showed that Samantha died of sudden unexplained infant death syndrome.The manner of death was undetermined. Phillips' decision to drink while caring for the infant and letting her sleep in a dangerous place led to charges of child abuse. She pleaded guilty to child abuse negligently causing death in May 2011.
Phillips was originally sentenced to eight years in prison but was resentenced to six years of intensive supervised probation, which she is still serving.
Read the Arrest Affidavit
Read the Fatality Review