Woman booked for murder of infant children

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 19, 2010



HAHNVILLE – A Destrehan woman accused of smothering her two children in separate incidents while living in McNeil, Ark., last year was arrested recently by St. Charles Parish authorities.

Dawn Wines, 22, who had moved to 231 Ormond Meadows Drive in the fall, was picked up at a residence in Luling on an attachment, said Capt. Pat Yoes, a public information officer for the Sheriff’s Office. She was booked with two counts of capital murder in the Aug. 7 death of her son, 18-month-old Louis Wines, and the Oct. 13 death of her daughter, 7-month-old Annabelle Wines.

Yoes said Wines waved extradition and was transferred back to Columbia County in Arkansas, where she is facing a court appearance early next week. Columbia County authorities said no bond has been set for Wines “due to the severity of the crimes.”

According to the affidavit of arrest, Louis Wines was brought to Magnolia Hospital on Aug. 4, unconscious and breathing sporadically. He was transferred to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, where he died three days later. The affidavit said Louis was home with his mother prior to being brought to the hospital.

Following Louis’ death, Annabelle was removed from the Wines’ custody because of the suspicious nature of the investigation. She was later returned to the home after 60 days since, according to Arkansas authorities, no proof of imminent danger could be proven in court.

But on the evening of Oct. 13, Dawn Wines and her husband, Josh Wines, brought an unresponsive Annabelle to the Magnolia Hospital emergency room. The child had no pulse, and hospital personnel pronounced her dead.

Autopsies for both children were performed at the Arkansas state crime lab. The findings showed that Louis Wines died of “complications of cardiac arrest due to suffocation,” and Annabelle Wines died of suffocation. The medical examiner also found Citalopram, an antidepressant used to treat depression and mood disorders, in Annabelle Wine’s body.

Dawn Wines had been prescribed Citalopram after the birth of Louis, the affidavit said.

Columbia County Sheriff’s Detective Leroy Martin said Louis was suffocated with a pillow, while Annabelle was strangled.

Martin said Josh Wines has not been charged and added both incidents happened while Dawn Wines was alone with the child.

Authorities said Dawn Wines had been “semicooperative’’ with investigators regarding both incidents.

Martin said the couple separated after Annabelle’s death and that Dawn Wines returned to Destrehan, where she grew up.

He said investigators were waiting for autopsy results, which eventually showed bruising on Annabelle’s body that was consistent with strangulation, before making an arrest.

Wines is expected to make her first appearance Thursday at 10 a.m. at the Columbia County Detention Center in Magnolia before Judge Larry Chandler. Published reports in Arkansas newspapers indicate that Josh Wines supports the death penalty in the case.