Portsmouth mom smothered baby at church, court documents say

Posted at 5:35 PM, Aug 20, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-21 08:56:18-04

Portsmouth, Va. - Portsmouth mother Keisha Holmes smothered her son to death at church near her home, according to court records.

Holmes is facing first degree murder in the August 7th death of her one-month-old son.

According to a probable cause summary, Holmes "took her one month old son to Holy Trinity Church" at 12:23 p.m., a time of day when church members said people are not usually there.  The document goes on to say Holmes "smothered him with a pillow until he stopped breathing."

A search warrant affidavit for her home said she called 911 and told a dispatcher she smothered her son. Police found the baby boy dead in his crib.  Records said Holmes "was read her Miranda Rights and gave a full confession."

"Why it happened at the church, I don't know," said church member David Boone.  "It could have been in her own mind that if she brought it here and done what she did, it may be something spiritual going on with her.  I just can't put my hand on it."

Boone said Holmes was not a member of the church, but she did start visiting during the last few weeks.

"Something was said to let us know she was having problems, but for some reason it didn't register to the extent that you need to reach out to the baby," he said.

Related: Portsmouth mother charged with first-degree murder in 1-month-old’s death