Baby Dies After Drinking Fentanyl In Sippy Cup; Mom Convicted

An amount of fentanyl deadly enough to kill two horses was found in a sippy cup that led to the death of a 17-month-old baby in Pittsburgh. The 23-year-old mother of the child has been convicted of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment.

Officials said the baby, Charlette Napper-Talley, was found dead in April 2018 with a lethal amount of fentanyl in her blood. The Allegheny County panel announced the court decision against her mother Jhenea Pratt on Tuesday. 

Pratt said during court hearings that she had “no clue” how the drug was mixed in the sippy cup. Defense attorney Brandon Herring added she “has always maintained that she would never intentionally hurt” her daughter, Fox 35 Orlando reported Wednesday

But Diana Page, an assistant district attorney, accused Pratt of intentionally killing Charlette. The mother allegedly only wanted to return to smoking marijuana at the time of incident. 

The prosecutor also dismissed Pratt's claim that her boyfriend, Albert Williams, should be held responsible for the death of Charlette, according to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

"[The] defense wants you to believe [Williams] has something to do with Charlette's death, but why? Why would he harm her child when he has kids of his own that he takes care of?" Page asked the jury. Pratt wanted to "sit back, relax and smoke marijuana. That baby was getting in the way of her enjoying her pastime."

Pratt was initially charged with endangering the welfare of children in connection with her daughter's death. The panel rejected convicting her of first- or third-degree murder.

Charlette’s Fentanyl Poisoning

In April of last year, emergency responders found the baby’s pink sippy cup contained red liquid. Charlette died in the hospital due to fentanyl, which appeared in her blood according to two separate lab tests. 

Investigators said two people were present at the apartment where Charlette was found dead. Pratt and her partner Williams were reportedly responsible for watching the baby at the time of incident.

Both denied using or storing fentanyl. Pratt told police that the drug potentially came from a fruit-flavored “happy drink” that “tasted funny to her.” She admitted giving Charlette the cup as she put her daughter in bed. An hour later and after smoking marijuana, she said the baby appeared not breathing, which prompted her to call 911. 

baby Health officials continue to encourage parents to closely monitor babies amid high risks of indoor accidents. Pixabay