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Lisa Scalia mugshot

‘Mom’ gets just 8 years for killing baby with methadone

by Leigh Egan

A woman who gave her 7-month-old daughter a fatal does of methadone was sentenced to 8 years in prison on Monday, a sentence that many people feel is extremely light, given the crime.

New Jersey 101.5 reports that Lisa M. Scalia, 33, was arrested on January 3, 2016, on previous charges of endangering the welfare of a child and drug offenses after her baby was found unresponsive in the family’s Ventnor home. The infant was taken to the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center-City, and later transferred to St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, where she passed away.

At first, detectives thought Scalia acted carelessly with her own drug use while taking care of the baby, and accidentally rolled over on the infant while sleeping. It was later determined that she gave her daughter methadone, a narcotic used to treat moderate to severe pain.

The amount of the drug found in the infant’s system was fatal. Scalia’s charges were upgraded to first-degree aggravated manslaughter. Authorities found numerous drugs in Scalia’s home, including suboxone, oxycodone, heroin, and Lyrica. Authorities also said Scalia was in possession of 34 bags of heroin.

On December 8, Scalia pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree aggravated manslaughter, according to the Inquirer Daily News. According to the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, the Medical Examiner’s Office stated that the baby’s death was caused by “complications of methadone intoxication.”

Scalia took a plea deal in the case, but under the No Early Release Act, she has to serve 85 percent of the sentence, which would average around 6 years 9 months, before she can go before the parole board.

[Feature Photo: Atlantic County Jail]

Leigh Egan is a crime-fighting journalist and editor who specializes in breaking news and investigative true crime coverage. With more than a decade of experience under her belt, Leigh’s work can be found in a number of high-profile national publications. For Leigh, learning didn’t stop after college. She considers herself a lifelong learner who frequently takes media and journalism courses to keep abreast of the latest happenings and innovations in her field.