, Corbin, KY

Local News

May 25, 2007

Mother takes Alford plea in baby’s death

By Fred Petke / Staff Writer

A Corbin mother will have to serve at least six months in jail for her infant son’s death from ingesting cough medicine and cocaine.

Sarah Davenport, 25, entered an Alford plea to reckless homicide charges Wednesday morning in Whitley Circuit Court. She was indicted last year for second-degree manslaughter for the death of her 3-month-old son Jeremiah on Nov. 19, 2005.

The plea agreement calls for Davenport to serve at least six months of a five-year sentence for reckless homicide. After six months, prosecutors will take no stand on shock probation. In an Alford plea, the defendant admits no guilt but believes prosecutors have enough evidence to convict her anyway.

Toxicology results showed that Jeremiah Davenport had amounts of cocaine and dextromethorphan in his system when he died. Dextromethorphan is an ingredient of cough suppressants, such as Robitussin DM, but none had been prescribed to the child.

The child had received an adult dosage of dextromethorphan which was the main cause of the child’s death, Commonwealth’s Attorney Allen Trimble said. There was a small amount of cocaine, but how it was ingested still has not been determined. At the time, Whitley County Coroner Andy Croley said the child did not contract the cocaine through his mother.

“It was not an intentional act,” Trimble said Wednesday morning. “She had a prescription for Robitussin and that was the other chemical that was found in the child’s blood.”

Trimble said there was cocaine in the household and speculated that a spoon used to heat cocaine may have also been used to give the child the cough medicine.

“We do know the child didn’t (ingest the cocaine) itself,” Trimble said. “The child wasn’t old enough to do it on its own.”

In her statement to police, Davenport said she gave the child milk and cereal the night before, but said nothing about medication.

Sarah Davenport was arrested January 2006 for murder when police received the toxicology and autopsy reports. The grand jury later indicted her for second-degree manslaughter.

Jeremiah Davenport was brought to Baptist Regional Medical Center in Corbin on Nov. 19, 2005 in a private vehicle. He was unresponsive and could not be revived.

Davenport is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 13.

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