A Pennsylvania dad was arrested and charged in the death of his 1-month-old baby after the newborn suffocated while napping on his father’s chest when they both fell asleep.

Isaiah was sleeping on his dad when he rolled over face down and stopped breathing.

According to the criminal complaint, Westmoreland County detectives said the baby “had shifted from his chest and was now laying face down in the crook of his armpit,” reports NBC News.

Owen Labrenn Copney woke up and immediately called 911 after he saw that his son was “sweaty” and no longer responsive.


Emergency responders attempted to revive Isaiah at his home but failed, and the boy died two days later in the hospital on September 19, 2018.

The child’s mother told police in the past she warned Copney repeatedly that co-sleeping with the baby was dangerous.

On Wednesday, the dad was charged with involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment in connection with his son’s death.

Westmoreland District Attorney John Peck told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the tragedy could have been prevented if Copeney had:

“Put the child back in a crib or a bassinet. It was reckless not to do that.”


In one incident, the father knocked the baby off of him during a nightmare while sleeping. On a separate occasion, Isaiah’s mom had to wake Copney up when his arm partially covered the newborn’s face.

Peck said:

“As I recall, the facts were that she had confronted him about this and warned him about it, and I suspect he agreed to comply and didn’t.”

He continued:

“An accident means that you have no control over the result. In other words, it just happened as a result of something that’s out of your control. In this case, he did have control over the situation.”

Peck said it was recklessness of Copney not to heed Isaiah’s mother’s multiple warnings because he ended up suffocating their child.

The dad is out of jail on a $25,000 bond and awaits his preliminary hearing.

As reported by Dearly, authorities in Florida warned that it’s never good to sleep with a child after sleep-related infant deaths spiked this year.

According to a 2016 report, 3,500 infants die annually in the U.S. from sleep-related tragedies.

The American Academy of Pediatrics said that accidental suffocations from co-sleeping are on the rise.

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About the author

Tiffani is a writer for Dearly. She is from New York City. Prior to working for Dearly she covered fashion news and managed social media for various digital media outlets.

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18 Replies to “Dad Dozed off With Infant on His Chest. He’s Charged After Being Repeatedly Warned Not to Co-Sleep With Son”

  • Anonymous 1 year ago

    May the baby RIP and may his dad recover from this tragedy. You people need to stop being so nasty and critical. Obviously, he loved his son and having him on his chest was a comfort to him. Sadly, it resulted in a tragedy and he will live with this for the rest of his life. How many of you, exemplary moms and dads, fell asleep with your children in your beds, having them on your chests, laying next to you on the sofa? Millions! So, stop your criticism! May God help him get through this death.

    • LittleElf 1 year ago

      He was warned repeatedly not to co sleep with the baby and he did it anyway.This is completely on him.

      • Dawn 1 year ago

        He fell asleep with the infant on his chest…I had 5 children…every one of them slept on their father’s chest and he fell asleep…they also slept on my dad’s chest and our grandson has done the same…they are all fine. The above does say that that he was warned, so apparently there were other close calls…sad, but not criminal.

        • Beccq 1 year ago

          Yes, babies fall asleep on their daddy’s chests, but the point is the dad should be awake and then lay the baby down in their own bed. He also apparently knew it was unsafe for him to doze off while holding the baby because he had hurt him before while doing so.

        • Anonymous 1 year ago


      • Steve 1 year ago

        Like you’re a perfect person. What goes around comes around. You judge something bad will also happen to you then we can sit and judge you.

        • Anonymous 1 year ago

          It ain’t about being a perfect person. It’s about the fact that you know that you can possibly harm your child in this manner and you still do it. Would you put your child in a lion’s den and if nothing happened to him the first time would you put them in there again? He obviously was an unstable sleeper so the baby should have never been laying on his chest while he was sleep.

    • William conley 1 year ago

      I mean he was warned and apparently agreed to stop doing it because the mother clearly was against bit entirely. While it’s a tragedy and I don’t think the father intended this to happen he should have been more concerned with his child’s well being and less with his desire to cuddle which was the exact reason his child is now dead. I understand the scenario hell my dad slept with me and my sister all the time but we were also not infants when he did and that was thirty years ago they knew better even back then.

  • Cara 1 year ago

    But I bet the mom had posted at least one sweet picture of them napping together on social media. How heartbreaking.

  • peter 1 year ago

    many years ago we had a 4 month old son the baby was sick his mother was sound sleeper afraid to miss his feeding she brought him to bed with her first time ever her mother got up Duran the night to check on the baby usually in his bassinet beside the bed found the baby under the mother,s arm pit she called 911 the baby suffocated my wife was arrested taken to jail she had 2 other young children as she did not have enough grief to be charge with involuntary man slaughter that poor woman went crazy over the lost of our baby she was a good mother the law treated her like Commons criminal i am now 80 years old i feel so sorry we lost our baby and for my x wife she was destroyed by the lost cost our saving to defend her how unfair was justice when we see child rapist a doctor killed his 3 kids out of revenge he was free how terrible for the mother again sad ending of a certain good lives leaving the mothers destroyed yet murderers go free always

    • PC 1 year ago

      I’m so terribly sorry to hear your situation ended this way. My ex husband and I Co-slept with our daughter as an infant. As did my parents with me.
      We never gave it a second thought.
      Of course then with a child in bed we barely slept. Terrified the baby would roll out of bed or worse!
      I can remember many a night when Daddy put his little girl upon his chest and fell asleep in the easy chair watching t.v.
      I’m sure your wife never thought for a moment things would turn out the way they did.
      I do know had it been us yes it would drove us crazy as well.

  • Diane F Miller 1 year ago

    Parents everywhere throughout history have slept with their children. People think they can stop every tragedy with a rule. You can’t. This is just a sad story.

    The father has suffered worse than anything you could ever sentence him to.
    Waste of court & law enforcement resources.

    Children are being abused, but these clowns are going after I guy who just wanted to hold his child.

    • Anonymous 1 year ago

      Their are some states and their legal system who would not have charged because the father will suffer more not having his some. This is a loving photo of him and his son.

      • Anonymous 1 year ago

        Not having his son, my apologies.

        My son slept with me as well as a baby.

  • Morgan Lacy 1 year ago

    He just lost his son and now he’s charged? That’s awful! Lord please bless this man! Give him strength

  • Anonymous 1 year ago

    Couches are the worst place to cosleep. Babies get wedged between the couch and parent and suffocate. Baby should be place in crib or bassinet, in a sleep sack, no blankets, no toys!

  • John 1 year ago

    But it’s okay to kill your children through abortion and liberals cheer for that.

  • Anonymous 1 year ago

    My heart goes out to the family of the little one. Although the father was warned he probably thought… nothing will happen to us, it’ll be okay. I am saddened that it did and that the father has to suffer twice for the accidental loss of his son.

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