GPD: Man rolled over on infant niece while napping

Published: Friday, January 21, 2011 at 9:18 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 21, 2011 at 11:05 p.m.

Police have arrested a Gainesville man for manslaughter following the death of his infant niece. Investigators said the man apparently rolled over on the 6-month-old baby girl while the two of them were napping on an extremely soft mattress.

Todd Jeremy Metten, 33, was charged in the Jan. 10 death of Alyssa Catherine Metten.

According to the Gainesville Police Department, Alyssa was the daughter of Lisa Michelle Willis and Metten's late brother, Jason Kenneth Metten. In Todd Metten's arrest report, Officer Joseph Mayo said Metten was baby-sitting Alyssa while Willis worked.

Mayo said Metten spent the weekend with a girlfriend in St. Augustine and had not gotten much sleep by the time he arrived in Gainesville on Jan. 10 to care for Alyssa. He put the baby down on the king-size mattress in Willis' bedroom and fell asleep next to her, Mayo said. The room also had a crib for Alyssa and a sleep pallet on the floor.

Metten told investigators that when he awoke, he realized something was wrong with Alyssa and so he called Willis at work. She told him to call 911.

Alachua County Fire Rescue found Alyssa unresponsive. She was pronounced dead at Shands at the University of Florida a short time later.

In his report on Metten's arrest, Mayo wrote that Metten was being charged because he "failed to provide proper care for the infant as a reasonable and prudent person would use under the circumstances."

Metten was being held at the Alachua County jail on Friday.

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

▲ Return to Top