Man charged with domestic abuse months after toddler's death

Man charged with domestic abuse months after toddler's death

A Maryland man has been taken into custody after it was determined that his child died because he ingested a deadly cocktail of illegal drugs and medication. The defendant, age 38, is accused of domestic abuse and manslaughter in connection with the death, which has been ruled a homicide. The man’s 3-year-old son was found with cocaine, codeine, acetaminophen and at least one other drug in his bloodstream.

Official reports show that the man’s child died in January. However, a comprehensive toxicology scan took some time to complete, so the charges could not be brought immediately. Authorities say the scientific results show that the child had such high levels of the medication and drugs in his body that there is no doubt that he died from an overdose.

Authorities say that they were not aware that any physical abuse was suspected when they arrived on the day of the child’s death. The man said he found his son in the living room, unresponsive. It took four months for a medical examiner to determine that the child had definitely died because of the large concentration of drugs in his system.

The defendant had apparently picked his son up for a court-ordered period of visitation on Jan. 25. He took the boy to his home for the weekend. Family members explain that the man had only recently become involved in the child’s life again, as he had stopped abiding by court-ordered visitation rules in previous years.

It is important for parents to remember that they can face criminal charges for physical abuse, even months after an alleged incident. Some investigations take time to complete, so charges may not be brought immediately after such an occurrence. Although criminal defendants do have a right to a speedy legal proceeding, sometimes scientific analysis simply takes time.

Source: The Washington Post, “Prince George’s man arrested in toddler son’s death; boy ingested toxic amount of drugs” Lynh Bui and Victoria St. Martin, May. 16, 2014

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