Say What Now? Baby 'Smothered' to Death Between Couch Cushions and Her Dad, Who Drank '10 Tall Boys' And Fell Asleep: Prosecutors |

Say What Now? Baby ‘Smothered’ to Death Between Couch Cushions and Her Dad, Who Drank ’10 Tall Boys’ And Fell Asleep: Prosecutors

Two people believed to be responsible for the death of their infant child in December 2023 were arraigned and charged with homicide and child abuse on Wednesday afternoon, April 3 in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

A Kalamazoo couple has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in the December death of their 6-month-old daughter.

Court documents show Jose Antonio Roldan Jr., 40, and Ladesha Ann Powe, 29, admitted to drinking heavily and smoking marijuana before their daughter Faith Hope Roldan was smothered to death.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting said. “It’s something that was completely unnecessary. It should have never happened.”

Court documents show that authorities were called around 8 a.m. Dec. 13, 2023, to a home on Davis Street in Kalamazoo’s Vine neighborhood for a report of a 6-month-old not breathing. Faith was taken to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Jose Roldan told investigators that when he woke up on the couch in the living room, he found his daughter wedged between the seat and back cushion and not breathing. He woke up Powe and she called 911.

The parents told investigators they drank several alcoholic beverages and smoked marijuana together before falling asleep, according to court documents. Roldan said he drank around 10 25-ounce beers. Powe said she drank five alcoholic beverages. Both shared a joint.

“They both were in a position where they were responsible for caring for this young child. They failed in that regard in a grossly negligent way,” Getting said.

The court document say the drinking and Faith’s death was recorded by a camera in the living room. Investigators say it shows Roldan falling asleep on the couch and Powe sitting by his feet and appearing to fall asleep with the baby in her arms. Faith fell out of Powe’s arms, landing between Roldan and the couch. Roldan, who weighs around 300 pounds, readjusted and the child became smothered, the court records say. They say the video recorded Faith kicking her feet and crying until she became lifeless.

“I’ve seen it and it’s not something that anyone should have to watch. It’s horrific,” Getting said.

According to the court documents, at some point, Powe woke up and looked for the baby but gave up and went to her bedroom.

An autopsy found Faith’s cause of death was asphyxia. Her death was ruled a homicide.

“Being a parent, it means being responsible and it means taking care of your kids, not just ignoring the risk that you’re putting them in. When you choose to use drugs or alcohol or other substances that interfere with your ability to be a parent, then you can’t do it while your kids are around and you certainly can’t do it while you’re responsible for caring for them,” Getting said.

He said he reviews cases each year involving the safe sleep of a baby.

“Some are more egregious than others,” he said.

Roldan and Powe were arraigned Wednesday in Kalamazoo’s 8th District Court on involuntary manslaughter and second-degree child abuse charges. Their bonds were set at $100,000 each. If convicted, they each face up to 15 years in prison.

Their other children are now in the care of other family members.


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