After a 15-month-old Oregon girl died of a methadone overdose in December 2013, the child’s father was accused of sometimes spiking "kid-friendly drinks" such as Capri Sun with the narcotic, the Oregonian reported.
In court on Monday, prosecutors didn't specify whether they believe Darian Lee McWoods, 24, intentionally gave his daughter one of his cocktails or whether the girl consumed the drink without his knowledge before she died. Either way, the amount of methadone in the child’s system could have stopped or slowed her breathing, and McWoods was known to mix the drug into drinks, prosecutors said, according to the Oregonian.
Prosecutors also said McWoods frequently used a dangerous method to get his daughter to go to sleep: holding her down in her crib until she fell asleep. He also allegedly encouraged the mother of his other children to give them beer or whiskey to help them to go bed.
McWoods has been held in jail without bail since he was arrested in connection with the death. Prosecutors have since built a case against the defendant, accusing him of killing his daughter “with extreme indifference to the value of human life.”
His defense attorney has requested that the judge set a bail amount so that he may be released during his trial, which is set to begin in January. The attorney is arguing that the child’s death could be explained by other factors and that prosecutors made mistakes in their investigation.
McWoods allegedly told police that his daughter had been fussy on the day of her death, and he put her down for a nap. When he later checked on her, he claims she was wedged between the mattress and the wall and wasn’t breathing. However, the deputy district attorney has said the girl was too old to be at risk of natural suffocation in a bed.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.