Florida mother accused of killing daughter with special needs in her hospital bed

U.S. and World

A hospital bed (Nexstar, file)

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — A Florida mother was in jail Tuesday after investigators say she killed her 14-year-old daughter while the girl lay in a hospital bed. 

Jessica Bortle, 34, of Bonifay, is charged with negligent manslaughter in the death of Jasmine Singletary. 

On July 8, Bortle took Jasmine to the hospital with an infection, according to Pensacola police. They said Jasmine was a patient with special needs who had a neuromuscular disorder. 

While at the hospital on July 13, Jasmine lost consciousness and died despite life-saving measures, said Police Chief Eric Randall. Her mother and grandmother had been in the room with her, he said.

A medical examiner later discovered Jasmine had suffered “massive” internal injuries to her ribs and liver that were not present when she was admitted, according to police. 

“The medical examiner indicated that the injuries were so severe that Jasmine would have died only minutes after receiving them and that they had to have occurred while she was confined to her hospital bed,” Randall said.

Investigators interviewed Bortle and concluded that she had committed the injuries that caused Jasmine’s death. Police would not say how the injuries occurred.

Bortle was arrested Monday, according to the State Attorney’s Office. Her first court appearance was set for Tuesday afternoon. 

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