Memphis police charge woman in drug-related death of infant daughter
11 month old died of toxic effects of Methadone
MEMPHIS — A Memphis-area woman was charged Friday with first-degree murder in the Nov. 3 drug-related death of her 11-month-old daughter.
Police charged Angela Murphree, 30, after the Shelby County medical examiner ruled that her daughter Madison's death was a result of the toxic effects of methadone
, a synthetic opiate
Murphree, a resident of Dundee, Miss., in Tunica County, told police she crushed her methadone pills and put them into her daughter's baby food, a police affidavit said. Murphree also was charged with second-degree murder and felony aggravated child abuse, neglect and endangerment.
When the woman's daughter was first admitted to Le Bonheur Children's Hospital on Oct. 21, a routine drug screen revealed the child had been exposed to benzodiazepines
often used to treat anxiety and panic disorders in adults.
Two additional screens during her stay reported no presence of the drugs.
Memphis police said the child had been improving, but when her health began to rapidly deteriorate Nov. 2, a fourth test confirmed the toxic levels of methadone.
Methadone is a pain reliever that also is used to prevent withdrawal
symptoms in patients addicted to heroin
and other opiate drugs as part of a drug-treatment program.
In July of 2009, Murphree was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance when officers stopped her vehicle near Highland and Walnut Grove in East Memphis, records show.
According to the affidavit in that case, a search found several DVDs that were determined to be stolen from an area Big Lots store earlier that day, a marijuana
cigarette in the vehicle's center console and two syringes in Murphree's purse.
Murphree was being held in Shelby County's Jail East. No bond had been set.
Megan Harris, Commercial Appeal
Posted December 4, 2010 at 8:29 a.m