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Mother convicted of child abuse in 1 of 2 co-sleeping deaths

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Posted at 8:23 AM, Feb 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-05 10:23:18-05

AURORA, Colo. -- A woman has been convicted on a child abuse charge in connection to the death of one of two infants who died while sleeping with Collins and her boyfriend.

Tierra Collins, 29, faces a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $1,000 fine on the misdemeanor charge, which is a result of the death of Collins' 3-month-old son, Nazairean Newton, in 2016.

Collins lost another child, 6-month-old Azyian Newton, in 2014 under similar co-sleeping circumstances. She's still awaiting trial in that case.

In both cases, Collins and her boyfriend -- the father of both children -- Gregory Newton, had been sleeping with the child after allegedly drinking and using marijuana, according to arrest affidavits for both.

It's unclear in the affidavits exactly what caused the children's deaths, but in both cases, Collins was alleged to have been inebriated and difficult to wake when they babies were found not breathing. Collins' brother found the baby in 2014 and Newton found the child in 2016.

In both cases, coroners noted that neither baby was found with any obvious trauma and tested negative for drugs and alcohol. But both noted that the babies were in an "unsafe sleep environment," though the causes and manners of death of both children were both deemed "undetermined."

Collins took part in the Family Nursing Partnership Program, which brings a nurse to a new mother's home to educate them in preventative health practices during pre- and post-natal care.

The nurse who worked with Collins repeatedly told her it was unsafe to sleep with her children, but Collins continued to do so, saying that was the way she was brought up, according to an affidavit.

Collins is set to be sentenced in this case on March 9; she then faces trial in the death of her other child on May 30.

Newton is scheduled to go to trial on Feb. 28.