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A Pennsylvania mom whose 10-week-old baby died after consuming drug-laced breast milk will avoid further jail time after reaching a plea deal with prosecutors.
Samantha Whitney Jones, 31, pleaded guilty Wednesday to involuntary manslaughter after admitting that she had consumed drugs before she breastfed her young son, according to a statement from the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office.
“I never wanted this to happen. I loved my little boy more than anything,” the tearful mom said in court. “I loved him, and I’ll have to live with this every day.”
The baby died from cardiac arrest after ingesting a fatal mix of amphetamine, methamphetamine and methadone.
After the infant died on April 2, 2018, Jones told authorities she had woken up in the middle of the night to the baby crying and was too tired to make him a bottle with formula and chose to breastfeed him instead, according to the Associated Press.
She discovered the baby a few hours later with bloody mucus coming out of his nose. Her mother tried to perform CPR and called 911, but it was too late and the baby died.
Jones had been prescribed methadone to help her overcome an addiction to painkillers during her pregnancy—which wouldn’t have been unsafe for a breastfeeding mother on its own, prosecutors said.
But shortly before the baby’s death, Jones told authorities she had relapsed and began taking other drugs, never asking anyone else for help.
“Samantha was in control of his situation,” Deputy District Attorney Kristin M. McElroy said. “She was in charge of a defenseless baby. He relied on her for everything, and it’s because of her actions that he’s not here today.”
The judge sentenced Jones to time served and a concurrent three-year term of probation. She’ll also have to complete 100 hours of community service working with others with substance abuse issues who either have children or are expecting a child, prosecutors said.
She had initially been charged with criminal homicide in her son's death.
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