BABY'S DEATH BLAMED ON CRACK SMOKE
Author: Steve Lannen
Lexington Herald-Leader (KY)
Thu, 01 Jun 2006
Frankfort Girl's Parents Held On Murder Charges
A Frankfort couple face murder charges for allegedly killing their infant daughter with second-hand crack cocaine smoke.
A Franklin County grand jury indictment accuses Jaime Jockers and Michael McIntyre of smoking crack in the presence of 5-month-old Brooklyn P. McIntyre, who died on March 3 in her apartment at the Stivers Apartments complex, 505 Owenton Avenue, in Frankfort.
Toxicology results from the Kentucky State Police crime laboratory revealed the baby girl died from acute cocaine intoxication, Commonwealth's Attorney Larry Cleveland said yesterday afternoon.
"There was a lot of crack cocaine smoked in that house," he said.
The drug also was sold in the residence, he said.
Jockers, 23, had two other children in the home by another father. Those children have been removed, Cleveland said. Both she and McIntyre, 21, face charges of murder and wanton endangerment, according to the indictment filed yesterday.
McIntyre faces additional charges of being a persistent felony offender. Jockers has previously been charged with drug trafficking, Cleveland said.
Although it might sound absurd, death by secondhand crack smoke is possible, said Holly Hopper, coordinator for Drug Endangered Child Training Network at the University of Kentucky.
Babies can inhale fumes from people smoking crack or methamphetamine, or the drugs can be absorbed through their skin, Hopper said.
"It really takes a small amount," she said. "Crack cocaine is not something you want to play with."
In 2003, a mother and grandmother were sentenced to prison for smoking crack in front of a newborn, who died in 2001 from exposure to crack smoke and dehydration, according to The Arizona Republic newspaper.
Symptoms of a drug-exposed baby include respiratory problems, unexplained seizures and increased blood pressure, Hopper said.
In substantiated cases of child abuse involving children under the age of 4, 88 percent have parents using drugs, Hopper said.
Although methamphetamine use has exploded in Western Kentucky, cocaine continues to be the number one drug in Central Kentucky related to child abuse, she said.