Haley Godshall was a North Carolina babysitter who pleaded guilty Tuesday, to the involuntary killing of a 16-month-old baby after he ingested a fatal dose of fentanyl.
According to the Charlotte Observer, the 24-year-old will spend between four to seven years in prison.
Nancy Lee, Assistant district attorney, stated to the court that Godshall called Alexia Jenkins in November 2021 and asked her to look after her son Kingston. Lee said Godshall would be there as it was not common.
Godshall and Daisy Bare (her friend) smoked methamphetamines and then picked Jenkins’ toddler up to take back to Godshall. Lee said that
Godshall fed the child oatmeal upon their return to the house. He fell asleep in between his babysitters, and the women who were watching a movie.
After the child was asleep, Godshall grabbed a bag of fentanyl from her bra and gave it to Bare. The two women used the drug and eventually also fell asleep.
When they woke up, they realized something was wrong with Kingston, so they took him to the hospital. Later that evening, the toddler died. The autopsy found that the child had ingested a lethal dose of the synthetic opioid fentanyl.
“I lost my son, but I also lost someone I trusted, a friend, someone I loved,” Jenkins told the judge. “I wish things could have been more careful. I don’t hate anyone.”
It is still unclear how the baby absorbed the narcotics. During the hearing, Lee confirmed that the amount of fentanyl in the toddler’s system was more than he could have ingested from the particles in the air while the two women used the drug next to him.
“I have no doubt that Miss Godshall loved the baby, wanted to care for the baby. But based on her addiction, the disease of addiction was not in the best position to care for anybody’s child,” Judge Williams said. “I am grateful that the family has a forgiving heart and has sought counseling through their religious belief.”
Bare was also charged in the case and is scheduled to appear in court on October 24.
A dose of 2mg of fentanyl can cause death, according to the DEA.
The Department of Health and Human Services in North Carolina estimates that 70% of all overdose deaths by 2020 were caused by fentanyl.
More than 107,000 overdose deaths were reported by the Center for Disease Control (USA) last year. Synthetic opioids are responsible for two-thirds.