20-year-old Aleah Newell has been charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of her two young children and attempted murder in the stabbing of her 70-year-old grandfather.
According to prosecutors, "Newell was in the apartment early Thursday morning when she began running hot water into a bathtub in the residence. As her grandfather used the restroom, Newell allegedly came up behind him, placing him into a chokehold. She then allegedly used a towel bar to strike the victim in the head, grabbed a knife from the kitchen, and stabbed the man more than 10 times in the ear, neck, shoulders, hands, arms and mouth until he lost consciousness.
Prosecutors then say that Newell stabbed her 7-month-old son Ameer 19 times, then put him facedown in the bathtub, where he suffered extensive burns.
Finally, Newell went to the living room, cut a hole in the window screen, and threw her 2-year-old son out of the 11th story window.
The boy, identified as Johntavis Newell, died from multiple fractures to his head and blunt force trauma from the fall.
Police say that Aleah Newell then jumped from the window herself, but her fall was broken by scaffolding on the third floor of the building. She suffered a broken wrist and ankle, but was awake and alert after the fall.
When police arrived at the scene, they discovered Aleah Newell and her 2-year-old son outside of the residence. They took the woman to an area hospital, but the boy was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police then went to the 11th floor apartment and attempted CPR on the 7-month-old boy, but he never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead."
Surveillance cameras outside of the apartment building captured Newell and her son falling from the 11th floor.
Before the incident, Newell apparently went to the Women at the Shield of Hope Shelter and asked for help. The woman reportedly said she couldn’t take care of the children by herself. Another woman at the shelter said that the intake workers said that they couldn't help Newell to which she replied "‘Well I asked them if they could help me, and they said they couldn’t help me. I had to do it on my own."
This is such a tragedy that could have been avoided. It's time to really take a good hard look at the mental health crisis among our people. This mother asked for help and was turned away. Were there other options she could have pursued? Yes. Was she at her wits end and not thinking clearly? Absolutely.
There are plenty of factors at play here and postpartum depression is one of them.
Aleah Newell faces a mandatory life sentence if convicted.