Prosecutor: Mom Killed Baby With Fentanyl in Sippy Cup to ‘Relax’

June 5, 2019 Updated: June 5, 2019

A prosecutor said a Pittsburgh mother killed her baby by placing fentanyl in the child’s sippy cup so she could “relax and smoke marijuana,” it was reported.

A Pennsylvania jury on June 4 cleared Jhenea Pratt, 23, of first-degree murder and third-degree murder, reported the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

They convicted her of involuntary manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child, KOCO reported.

According to her attorney, Pratt maintained that she never intentionally tried to kill her daughter, Charlette Napper-Talley, who was 17 months.

But Diana Page, an assistant district attorney, told the jurors that she wanted to get rid of her baby so she could smoke marijuana.

The mother wanted to “sit back, relax and smoke marijuana,” Page added. “That baby was getting in the way of her enjoying her pastime.”

Speaking to the jury, the prosecutor said that Pratt that the “specific intent to kill” her daughter.

The sentencing phase of her trial is scheduled for another date, the Post-Gazette reported.

In April 2018, detectives found the cup that her daughter had used had enough fentanyl to “kill two horses.” The powerful narcotic was also found in the child’s system.

“What I’m sure of is that fentanyl was put in the sippy cup and there was liquid mixed into it, and it was given to Charlette and that’s how she died. So I need to know how that got in there,” a detective told Pratt. “I have no knowledge as to how fentanyl got into my daughter’s sippy cup,” she told him, according to video footage.

She also said in the video: “I’m just as clueless as you are. So are you implicating that I put fentanyl in my child’s sippy cup?” The detective responded with “no.”

“I just wondered how it got in there. That’s the big question,” he later told her, and Pratt responded, “I don’t know how it got in there. This is news to me like it’s news to you.”

Charlette’s biological father, Romir Talley, who is separated from the woman, issued a statement after the verdict.

“It(‘s) deep because i love her i mean yeah we had our ups and downs but that was my bestfriend there so much love there but it hurt because i feel betrayed you could have try to take me out instead but you took my daughter.” He added: ‘I ain’t looking to be sad about it. It really is what it is at this point. I don’t feel no hate or love there nothing there no more (sic),” he posted, according to The Metro.

Fentanyl Overdoses

In August, President Donald Trump urged the Senate to pass a measure to stop synthetic opioid drugs such as fentanyl from being transported into the United States via the U.S. Postal Service system.

“It is outrageous that Poisonous Synthetic Heroin Fentanyl comes pouring into the U.S. Postal System from China,” he wrote on Aug. 20.

The shipment of fentanyl from China to the U.S. is “almost a form of warfare,” Trump said in August.

Fentanyl-laced sky blue pills
This photo provided by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Phoenix Division shows a closeup of the fentanyl-laced sky blue pills known on the street as “Mexican oxy.” (Drug Enforcement Administration via AP)

“In China, you have some pretty big companies sending that garbage and killing our people,” Trump said at the time.

More than 71,500 Americans have died of a drug overdose in 2017, according to data released the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The majority—or least 68 percent—of those deaths could be attributed to opioids such as fentanyl.

“[Chinese drug makers] have been using the internet to sell fentanyl and fentanyl analogues to drug traffickers and individual customers in the United States,” said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in a statement on Oct. 17, 2017.

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