An Orange County woman is facing more than a decade in prison after she was charged with four counts related to child abuse and endangerment after her young son was exposed to fentanyl and stopped breathing.
Jacqueline Hunter, 30, of Irvine, has been charged with “one felony count of child abuse and endangerment, two misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance, and one felony enhancement of causing great bodily injury on a child under the age of 5,” according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
On Jan. 9, after returning home from a hospital visit, the unidentified boy began experiencing difficulty breathing and eventually stopped breathing entirely.
His father, who hasn’t been identified, gave him CPR until paramedics arrived. The boy later tested positive for fentanyl, the DA’s Office said.
A search warrant of the family’s home in Irvine lead to the discovery of a baggie filled with fentanyl and Xanax pills.
Hunter is accused of bringing the drugs into the house without her husband’s knowledge and letting the child access the pills.
District Attorney Todd Spitzer said the boy remains in the hospital, unable to breathe on his own.
“A parent’s only job is to protect their children from harm, and because of a selfish decision by his mother, this baby is fighting to survive. We all know how deadly fentanyl is, and a mother refusing to provide information to paramedics to help save her child is beyond unbelievable,” Spitzer said in a statement.
Hunter’s bail has been set at $30,000, although prosecutors argued for the bail to be raised to $500,000.
She faces up to 12 years in state prison if convicted on all charges.