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Local woman charged with suffocating daughter

By Joel Hall

jhall@news-daily.com

After a year-long investigation, Clayton County Police have arrested a College Park woman suspected of suffocating her child.

Police have charged 25-year-old Veronica Coverson with one count of malice murder, one count of felony murder, one count of aggravated assault, and two counts of cruelty to children. Coverson is suspected of suffocating her 18-month-old daughter on Aug. 22, 2007, under the guise of a bathtub drowning.

"The autopsy report did not match her explanation of the events that happened that day," said Sonja Sanchez, public information officer for the Clayton County Police Department. "Her explanation was that the baby had drowned, but that didn't match the autopsy, even to the point that the baby was not wet."

The child's death happened last year at Coverson's apartment at 5707 Pine Drive in College Park. The arrest was made Wednesday at Clayton County Police Headquarters after Coverson was called in again for questioning.

Sanchez said Coverson's explanation was "totally inconsistent" with the child's cause of death, which was listed in the police report as homicidal asphyxia.

"She stuck to her report that the baby had drowned in the bathtub when she went away to get a towel," said Sanchez. "The kind of injuries the baby sustained showed that there was some kind of loss of oxygen."

Sanchez said the child's injuries included swelling of the head and brain, lip, and oral abrasions, and hemorrhages of the head and spinal cord. She said Coverson showed "no emotion, no remorse" at anytime during questioning by police.

"This has been an on-going investigation," said Sanchez. "Due to the investigation, they had enough information to get a warrant and make an arrest."

Coverson is expected to make her first court appearance at Clayton County Superior Court later this week.

"Depending on how she pleads, will determine how the [District Attorney's] office proceeds," said Sanchez.