Mom charged with aggravated manslaughter in toddler's death

MIDDLEBURG, Fla. -- A mother was arrested and charged Friday afternoon with the December death of her 23-month-old son. Police say opiates were found in the child's system.

Kathern Powell, 41, is charged with culpable negligence-actual injury and aggravated manslaughter of a child, according to a Clay County Sheriff's Office arrest report.

The child lived with his parents, Powell's parents and three adult cousins. Powell reportedly found the child on the morning of Dec. 7 face down with a fever and not breathing.

Powell's mother called 911 while Powell put the child in the shower to try to wake him up and bring his fever down, according to the report.

The father, and then the grandfather, performed CPR until paramedics arrived. The child was taken to St. Vincent's in Middleburg and then Wolfson Children's Hospital in Jacksonville, where opiates were found in his system.

On Dec. 14, the child was pronounced dead after doctors tried all options in saving his life. His death was ruled a homicide and the Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Valerie Rao found that the cause "was acute bronchopneumonia following drug toxicity," the report detailed.

Four milligrams of Diludid was found in his system, which is "10 times the therapeutic dose for a child of this age," the report stated.


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