Mother of drowned infant deemed mentally unfit to stand trial
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Mother of drowned infant deemed mentally unfit to stand trial

Psychiatrist determines woman wasn't responsible for her actions when her month-old baby died in a hotel hot tub

Israeli police at the Miami Hotel where an infant drowned in a bathtub, in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod, on April 2, 2018. (Flash90)
Israeli police at the Miami Hotel where an infant drowned in a bathtub, in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod, on April 2, 2018. (Flash90)

The mother of a month-old baby who drowned in a hotel jacuzzi earlier this month will not stand trial after a psychiatrist determined her mentally unfit.

The baby drowned while the family, from the city of Beit Shemesh near Jerusalem, was vacationing in a hotel in the coastal city of Ashdod during the Passover holiday.

Paramedics said they attempted to resuscitate the infant and rushed him to the city’s Assuta Medical Center, but medical staff were unable to save his life.

The baby’s parents were detained as suspects in the death and have had their remand extended. The mother was suspected of criminal wrongdoing, while the father is reportedly suspected of obstructing justice.

But a regional psychiatrist who examined the mother has concluded she was “not responsible for her actions,” meaning that she cannot stand trial, Hadashot news reported Thursday.

A court has extended her remand by six additional days, until next Wednesday.

A rabbi holds the body of a one-month old baby who drowned in a hotel jacuzzi in Ashdod at his funeral in Jerusalem on April 5, 2018. (Screen capture/Ynet)

Last week, the High Court of Justice authorized an autopsy on the body of the baby, rejecting the family’s petition against the procedure on religious grounds.

The autopsy was performed in the presence of a doctor picked by the family at the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute after the court accepted the police request for a post-mortem examination.

For several days, ultra-Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem, Ashdod and Beit Shemesh had protested the investigation and the upcoming autopsy, temporarily blocking traffic and the light rail system and clashing with police.

Jewish tradition generally opposes autopsies on the grounds that the body is sacred and should not be tampered with after death.

Handing down the decision, the justices said that although they respected the religious sensitivities of the family, they felt they had no choice but to deny their petition against the autopsy.

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