St. Barnabas Hospital

NYC Mother Gets Prison for Slamming Baby's Head Into Wall Until He Died

What to Know

  • A Bronx woman has been sentenced in the June 2018 death of her 5-month-old infant son, police say
  • Joann McLeod, 32, pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in the baby's death in October; officials say she slammed his head into wall
  • The baby boy suffered a fractured skull; McLeod faces 10 years in prison plus five years of post-release supervision

A Bronx woman has been sentenced to 10 years in prison in the killing of her 5-month-old son, who died after she slammed his head against the wall. The woman never sought medical attention for the baby either, prosecutors said.

Joann McLeod, 32, had pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter last month in the June 2018 death of her baby boy. According to the investigation, she picked up the boy, shook him and slammed his head against the wall repeatedly at some point in the middle of the night. She purposely didn't do anything to try to help him and left the apartment for a period of time, prosecutors said.

The boy suffered a fractured skull. He was found unresponsive when cops responded to a 911 call at the apartment on the morning of June 4.

"The defendant inflicted grievous head injuries on the infant and left him to suffer for more than an hour before obtaining medical attention," Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark said in a statement. "She will now serve time in prison for callously causing the death of this innocent child whose life had barely begun."

The boy's uncle, Loriano Porfil, said at the time he had no idea how anyone could have harmed him.

"She could have given it to us, we would have taken care of him," said Porfil. "She didn't have to put him away like that." 

Porfil believes McLeod suffers from mental illness: "Maybe she needed help, man. Maybe she needed help bad." 

The baby's father was in shock, according to Porfil.

McLeod has other children, who are now in the care of other family members, according to Porfil. 

Contact Us