SPOKANE, Wash. – A Grant County mother will spend 90 days in jail after her baby passed away after being exposed to methamphetamine.
According to the coroner’s report, Heather N. Chapman’s infant son’s death was ruled accidental with “acute methamphetamine intoxication” back in 2016. Chapman was sentenced this month to 90 days, then another year of parole, for endangerment with a controlled substance.
According to court documents, that is the low end of the standard sentencing for that charge, which typically ranges between three and nine months for first time offenders.
Chapman told police she had woken up on May 22, 2016 to feed her baby when she found him not breathing and unresponsive in their Coulee City trailer. Despite family members performing CPR and emergency responders rushing him to the hospital, the baby passed away.
According to toxicology reports, the baby’s blood tested positive for methamphetamine.
In November, a child abuse physician with Seattle Children’s Hospital did a case review of the baby’s death and found he likely died from SIDS.
“The child is probably a SIDS victim who also had been inappropriately exposed to meth,” Ken Feldman wrote in his review, according to court documents. “At best, that exposure may have added to risks.”
In April, Chapman spoke with officials and admitted to using methamphetamine on “two or three” occasions during the time frame she was breastfeeding the baby before his death. She also confirmed in the days before he died, she briefly took him into a home filled with smoke, presumably from methamphetamine, for five minutes.
“Heather did not believe her smoking methamphetamine would affect [the baby] while she was breastfeeding him,” the official wrote in their report.
Editor's note: The original version of this story incorrectly reported the death of the infant as Oct. 7, 2016. It has been corrected to say May 22, 2016.
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