Court to consider preliminary hearing date
A Lompoc couple has been charged with child abuse for exposing their three small children to fentanyl, including a 1-year-old boy who might have died had it not been for the first responders who used Narcon to revive him.
In a three-count felony complaint, prosecutors charged Curtis Michael Roberts, 43, and Jessie Lacy McCoy, 36, with exposing their 1-year-old son, his 3-year-old sister and their 4-year-old brother to child abuse under circumstances “likely to cause great bodily injury or death.”
The criminal complaint alleges that on Jan. 5, the couple created conditions likely to cause their children “to suffer, and to be inflicted to with unjustifiable physical pain and mental suffering,” and that they did in fact, “willfully cause and permit said child to be placed in such situation that his/her person and health was/were endangered.”
The couple pleaded not guilty at their Jan. 9 arraignment and are due back in court on Feb. 15 to set a date for a preliminary hearing, at which a judge will decide whether prosecutors have presented sufficient evidence to hold them over for trial.
If convicted of all charges, each defendant would be subject to a maximum sentence of eight years, eight months in state prison, Deputy District Attorney Madison Whitmore told the News-Press Thursday.
This includes six years apiece on the first count charging them with child abuse in connection with their 1-year-old, and consecutive sentences on counts two and three pertaining to their other children that would add two years, eight months apiece.
The complaint alleges aggravating factors, in that the crime involved great violence, great bodily harm, threat of great bodily harm, or other acts disclosing a high degree of cruelty, viciousness or callousness, and that their victims were particularly vulnerable.
In addition, Ms. McCoy faces aggravating factors in that her prior convictions as an adult or sustained petitions in juvenile delinquency proceedings are numerous or of increasing seriousness; that she has served a prior term in prison or county jail; and that her prior performance on probation, mandatory supervision, post-release community supervision or parole was “unsatisfactory.”
Prosecutors say because of her prior conviction in June 2009 in Los Angeles, Ms. McCoy would receive a second strike if convicted of the current charges.
Lompoc police, firefighters and AMR ambulance crew responded at 11:14 a.m. on Jan. 5 to a residence at 800 N. F St. regarding a 1-year-old child that was unresponsive.
A police investigation revealed the 1-year-old was exposed to suspected fentanyl. The child was administered Narcan (naloxone) by fire and medical personnel on the scene and was revived. The child was transported to the Lompoc Valley Medical Center for further medical care. The mother and father, Mr. Roberts and Ms. McCoy, were both arrested for felony child endangerment.
“This incident should be a reminder of the dangers of fentanyl,” police said at the time. “Only a 2-milligram dose of fentanyl is considered a potentially lethal dose, and it is particularly dangerous for someone with no tolerance to opioids. The fentanyl drug is 50 times more potent than heroin.”