Deja Harper, 28, and her partner Waymon Murphy, 25, were charged with one count of child endangerment and one count of child neglect.
According to the complaint, the police responded to a call to the couple’s apartment on October 3. When they arrived, their 12-month-old baby was unresponsive. Harper told the police he had swallowed an aspirin while they had all been lying in bed.
Harper said Murphy had taken Tylenol for a headache earlier and must have forgotten to put the bottle away. Both Harper and Murphy said they saw the pill in their child’s mouth, and Murphy took it out.
Their baby was struggling to breathe by the time the paramedics arrived. He was taken to the hospital where the doctors intubated him. However, his difficulty breathing was inconsistent with the symptoms of ingesting Tylenol.
The doctors then asked Harper and Murphy what the baby actually had consumed. Though the couple defended their claim that it had been aspirin, toxicological testing revealed it was in fact fentanyl.
Later, a search warrant of the couple’s home revealed fentanyl pills hidden in a pair of men’s shoes in the closet. Harper and Murphy took urinalysis after the baby was admitted to the hospital. Murphy tested positive for fentanyl, while Harper’s sample couldn’t be analyzed because it had been tampered with.
Harper is facing a maximum 10 years in prison. Murphy, who has also been charged with possession of drugs, is facing an additional five years, bringing his total maximum sentence to 15.