taken from http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060711/ap_on_re_us/methadone_infant_death
DUNDALK, Md. - A woman who gave her infant daughter methadone to keep her from fussing was sentenced to eight years in prison for causing the baby's death.
Gina M. Camponeschi, 35, pleaded guilty to involuntary homicide in May. Her daughter, Adriana, was born last July addicted to heroin and cocaine because the mother used drugs during her pregnancy, prosecutors said. The newborn spent 30 days in the hospital for detoxification.
On the morning of Sept. 11, 23 days after Adriana was released into her mother's care, Camponeschi gave the infant "enough methadone to coat her tongue" to stop her crying, defense attorney Robert J. Feldman said at the sentencing hearing Monday.
The methadone, which is used to treat heroin addiction, had been prescribed for Camponeschi.
"Ms. Camponeschi's mindset was that this baby was suffering withdrawal from drugs," Feldman said. "She is an experienced user of recreational drugs and is familiar with withdrawal."
Later that morning, Camponeschi found her daughter pale, cold and not moving. The medical examiner said the baby died of methadone intoxication and ruled the death a homicide.
Feldman asked Baltimore County Circuit Court Judge Timothy Martin to sentence his client to treatment rather than prison, but prosecutor John Magee noted Camponeschi had left treatment programs four times over the years without completing them.
"If there's any greater wake-up call, I don't know what it is — the death of her own child at her own hand," Magee said.
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