A Chemung County grand jury handed up an indictment last weekcharging Samantha L. Skinkle, currently of Hudson Street, with criminally negligent homicide in the death of Kayden L. Skinkle.
She was arrested Friday and arraigned before Judge James Hayden in Chemung County Court.
The indictment states Skinkle covered her son's mouth until he stopped moving. She then placed Kayden on pillows at the head of her bed and fell asleep, the indictment continued.
The boy became wedged between a pillow and a wall, facing the wall. All of these actions contributed to his death, according to the indictment.
Police and emergency services workers were called to the home at 710 Johnson St. on June 23 on a report of an unresponsive infant.
An investigation by police, the Chemung County Medical Examiner's Office, Chemung County Child Protective Services/Child's Advocate Center and the county District Attorney's office led to the indictment of Skinkle, police said.
The case has similarities to two November 2007 smothering deaths at the hands of young Elmira mothers.
Teressa Penird-Boles of Elmira was convicted of second-degree manslaughter in the smothering death of her 2-month-old son, Tyrese Boles, with a pillow. Penird-Boles was 25. She was sentenced to 5 to 15 years in prison.
Summer F. Cook of Elmira was convicted of criminally negligent homicide in the smothering of her 6-week-old daughter, Kenya Payne, by pressing the infant to her chest before falling asleep. Cook was 23. She was sentenced to 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison.
"I can't explain what mothers are thinking to do something such as this," said John Thweatt, chief assistant district attorney for Chemung County, who will prosecute the case.
Skinkle is being held in the Chemung County Jail on $10,000 bail. She is scheduled to appear before Hayden again at 9 a.m. Oct. 2 for motions.
An obituary published June 30 in this newspaper said Kayden Skinkle was survived by a brother.