A Pennsylvania mother will spend the next 25 to 50 years behind bars after drugging and killing her toddler son.
NBC Philadelphia reports that 43-year-old Jennifer Clarey pleaded no contest in court on Tuesday in connection with the death of her 2-year-old boy, Mazikeen Curtis. Clarey was convicted of third-degree murder and child endangerment.
“You were there to protect this child, and instead, you were so reckless and thoughtless and selfish as to take this child’s life before he ever had a chance to explore everything that life has to offer,” Bucks County Court Judge Clyde W. Waite said.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, authorities found Clarey and Mazikeen at their Tullytown home off of Lovett Avenue on August 25. While Clarey was lying in a blood-covered bed with self-inflicted cuts on her wrists, Makizeen was found unresponsive. A police report indicated his body was cold.
“The child showed no signs of life, was stiff and cold to the touch,” the complaint stated.
Authorities arrived at the home after a social worker contacted police out of concern for the boy and after reports of an intoxicated Clarey “acting erratic.” While inside, police found an empty bottle of Vicodin, prescribed to Clarey. They also found an empty bottle of children’s Benadryl.
An autopsy report revealed Mazikeen had toxic levels of both medications in his system.
Police said Clarey had both major depressive and bipolar disorders, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. She hadn’t worked in the past 20 years prior to her son’s death after injuring her neck in a car accident.
At the time of the incident, Clarey’s income came through disability payments. Authorities said she was close to being evicted from her apartment.
Clarey stayed in the hospital for three weeks following the incident. She was eventually arrested and charged.
Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub argued Clarey maliciously killed her son and that Mazikeen had already been dead for several hours before help arrived. His argument helped upgrade Clarey’s charges from negligent homicide to murder.
“I believe it was certainly a killing with malice, which would make it murder,” Weintraub said last year while pushing for murder charges. “Plain and simple, this was a murder.”
The defendant declined to speak after hearing her sentence. The boy’s father, who attended the court hearing, also declined to speak.
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[Feature Photo: Mazikeen Clarey/Handout]