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Arlington settle with woman in 2007 baby death lawsuit

ARLINGTON — A woman whose baby was found dead in 2007 has settled a lawsuit against police in Arlington and Lake Stevens for $2,000.

Bonnie Peterson, who was arrested after police found her 4-month-old son, Noah, dead with a pacifier taped in his mouth in June 2007, filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against both departments after spending 10 days in jail and missing her child's funeral.

She was later released and no charges were filed after the autopsy determined there was no connection between the pacifier and the child's death.

"My clients were certain they'd done absolutely nothing wrong and that the plaintiff was very fortunate to avoid prosecution and conviction from contributing to the death of her baby," the officers' attorney, Richard Jolley, told the Seattle Times in an e-mail. "It was just a case we were confident in winning, but felt we couldn't justify the expense and time to defend the case all the way through the process when we could settle it for a small sum."

Peterson, whose previous name was Bobbie Desmond, was arrested after police learned that she had used the tape to hold the pacifier in Noah's mouth. Peterson had told police that it helped him sleep, according to reports.

While prosecutors originally filed manslaughter charges against Peterson. Her family helped post her bail.

The settlement was reached last month, according to the Seattle Times.

City of Arlington spokeswoman Kristin Banfield declined comment on the case, directing all inquiries to Jolley's office.

Jolley could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday morning. The Arlington Times will update this story as more information becomes available.

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