A Stafford, Connecticut, woman is facing criminal charges after her 3-year-old son allegedly overdosed on methadone and died.
The Hartford Courant reported that Jessica York, 24, is accused of leaving her methadone out where her son, Leon Lapierre, could access it. The child was pronounced dead on April 22, shortly after York called 911 for the unresponsive toddler.
The Chief Medical Examiner’s Office determined that Lapierre died of acute methadone intoxication and ruled his death a homicide, a report obtained by the Ellington Patch revealed.
York had allegedly told detectives that Lapierre was cranky so she let him sleep in as she got her other children up. She said Lapierre was blue and rigor had set in when she went to wake him up at 10:42 a.m., the Courant wrote.
According to the Associated Press, prosecutors claimed that a large quantity of methadone was located in the child’s blood and digestive tract and that the drugs in question belonged to York. They said the Stafford home was littered with trash, human waste, animal feces, and drugs.
Prosecutors also noted that officers also located heroin—which was accessible to Lapierre and his 2- and 4-year-old brothers.
The Courant reported that medical providers and school staff had contacted the Department of Children and Families (DCF) about York’s alleged inability to properly care for her kids. The warrant stated that school staff claimed the children would come to school dirty and would reek of urine.
The 24-year-old allegedly bought the lethal methadone from someone who was legally prescribed it. Interviews with York and her boyfriend revealed that York had a serious heroin addiction, the warrant also said.
York was indicted Wednesday in Rockville Superior Court on multiple charges, including second-degree manslaughter, three counts of risk of injury to a minor, and three counts of first-degree reckless endangerment. She is being held on $500,000 bail.
Her attorney said the mother of three is “devastated” by the turn of events. He also said he sought a lower bail amount, claiming York had no criminal record, was trying to get help for her drug issues, and that she’s not accused of intentionally giving methadone to her son.
[Featured Image: Connecticut Department of Correction]