Wednesday, may 8th, 31-year-old Samantha Whitney Jones, of new Britain township (Bucks County, Pennsylvania) on the court pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of 10-week-old son, confirming that fed the baby breast milk contains a cocktail of drugs, including methadone and methamphetamine.
«I never wanted that to happen. I loved my little boy more anything in the world. I loved it and I have to live with that every day,» sobbing, said during his speech a woman.
According to the press service of the district attorney of the County of Bucks, Jones will avoid prison after an agreement was reached plea. Initially the woman was charged with murder.
Early on the morning of 2 April 2018 911 received a call in the Jones house in new Britain township, located about 35 miles (56 km) North of Philadelphia. There, police found the baby, named in court documents, R. J., in critical condition.
Then Jones told police that a few days before the tragedy, she switched to mixed feeding, because she did not have enough milk. However, when about three o’clock the baby cried, she was so tired, «she had the strength to go downstairs and make him a mix, so she fed him the breast,» — said detective Jeffrey A. Cummins at the preliminary hearing in 2018.
The autopsy then showed that the child died from a lethal combination of amphetamine, methamphetamine and methadone, trapped in his body from mother’s milk.
Jones had permission to methadone because of her addiction to painkillers and addiction. The methadone, according to the authorities, «is not considered dangerous for nursing mothers and their children», so Jones took it regularly during pregnancy (methadone maintenance therapy). However, women in tragedy, had a relapse and she again started to take illegal drugs, not asking at the same time help to care for the baby.
According to court documents, a few hours after feeding the baby turned pale, his nose blood mucus. Mother Jones, who at the time was in the house, had CPR, she recommended that managers rescue service. Arrived ambulance rushed the baby to Doylestown Hospital, but, unfortunately, to save him failed.
«Samantha was in control of the situation, argued at the preliminary hearing, Deputy district attorney Christine M. McElroy. — She was responsible for a defenseless child. He relied on her in everything, and because of her actions, he died.»
The lawyer of the defendant Luis R. Boucicaut insisted that the boy’s death is not intentional murder, which is tantamount to murder of the 1st degree, and cannot be considered as murder 2nd degree, because it did not happen during the Commission of some other crime. «Samantha Jones suffered the biggest loss, which can test any man — the loss of a child, previously said Boucicaut. This was a terrible accident of unfathomable proportions, but it’s not murder.»
During the trial this week, judge Wallace H. Bateman Jr. has called the consequences of the death of a child «immeasurable». «One question remains: why didn’t you ask for help?» he said.
Prosecutor McElroy said: «Her behaviour was extremely sloppy. She had resources that were in the house bottles, and other adults.» Lawyer Boucicaut in his speech noted that Jones «was heartbroken and devastated by the loss.»
At the time of sentencing, the judge repeated the statement of the lawyer Boucicaut that women struggling with drug addiction, will bring little benefit to a prison sentence. The true punishment they receive in the form of grief and regret about the incident, he said.
Judge Bateman noticed that Jones after boy’s death is continuing its efforts in its fight against drug addictionand its rehabilitation is extremely important. With this in mind he decided to sentence the defendant to 3 years of probation and 100 hours of community service, preferably with a focus on helping drug-addicted mothers, pregnant or already have children.
Such a sentence, according to the judge, may be for other drug-addicted parents is significant, and they will take steps to in a difficult moment to ask for help. «If Jones did it [appealed], the tragedy could have been avoided», he added.
The arrest of Jones in 2018 due to the death of R. J. followed almost a year after she was charged with driving in a condition of narcotic intoxication and endangering a child’s life: in the spring of 2017 police patrol in new Britain found Jones passed out behind the wheel of a car in which was her little boy — he is now about 3 years and he basically lives with his dad. At the time, when there was a hearing on these charges, Jones was already pregnant with R. J. Then the most serious charges were dropped, and the woman is sentenced to house arrest with a condition of drug treatment.