A mother in Utah who killed her 17-month-old baby girl with a lethal dose of methadone was sentenced to up to 30 years behind bars on Wednesday.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Courtney Nicole Howell, 27-year old, admitted that she only wanted her 17-month old baby Jaslynn Mansfield to go to sleep. Instead of singing lullabies or telling stories, Courtney feed her child with a lethal dose of methadone.
Courtney called 911 after the baby stopped breathing. Jaslynn was transported but later died at the David Hospital and Medical Center.
According to reports, Courtney never told hospital staff that the child was given methadone, information which would have saved Jaslynn’s life. However, an autopsy later confirmed methadone was not only in the child’s blood stream, but in toxic amounts. Evidence inside Howell’s bedroom revealed baby bottles even had methadone residue in them.
The baby died of ‘acute methadone toxicity, the warrant states.
Defense attorney Todd Utzinger asked Judge Hamilton to consider a concurrent prison term for Howell though the judge sentenced her to two consecutive 15 year terms.
‘The child didn’t have a chance,’ Hamilton said, noting the child was born addicted to methadone.
The baby’s family said that Howell knew how destructive methadone was because the baby’s father died from a methadone overdose just a few months before the child was born.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports that on Wednesday Courtney tearfully said she will regret her choice for the rest of her life. ‘Trying to forgive myself is an endless battle I struggle with daily,’ she said as she wiped away her tears. ‘I can’t make up my wrong by giving my little girl back her life,’ Courtney said.
‘[Jaslynn] was a piece of my son that we had lost. It’s a challenge to try to keep moving on without her in our life,’ Grandmother Bonnie Carrillo told the court.
- Salt Lake Tribune