A St. Paul woman has been ruled mentally incompetent to stand trial on a murder charge for allegedly smothering her 1-month-old son last month.
Ramsey County District Judge Diane Alshouse issued her decision Monday in the second-degree murder case against Shwe Htoo, 22, who is under civil commitment at Regions Hospital.
Prosecutors say that on the morning of Nov. 18, Htoo covered her infant son, Michael Kyaw Htoo, with a blanket and then pressed a hand into his face, alternating hands for five minutes until he stopped crying and moving.
They also allege that she had tried but failed to kill the infant the night before by feeding him poisoned formula with a bottle.
“This morning — I killed my own child,” Htoo allegedly told police.
Court records indicated that Htoo was suffering from postpartum depression, which can overwhelm mothers soon after giving birth. Symptoms include a depressed mood, anxiety and mournful feelings.
Authorities arrested Htoo later in the morning of her son’s death after she attempted suicide by driving a car into a light pole in Como Regional Park. Her son, already dead, was strapped into a carrier in the vehicle’s back seat.