Woman accused of drugging grandson sentenced

Prince Frederick, MD - Admitting “neglect” due to leaving a cap off a bottle of methadone, a Calvert County woman received a sentence Wednesday, March 7 that will have her serving jail time as well as concentrate on ending her drug dependency. A Circuit Court judge sentenced the defendant, Judith Anne Badrian Tetreault, 58 of Lusby (pictured, right), to two consecutive five-year sentences for an incident that left her grandson in critical condition in February 2017. Judge Mark Chandlee suspended all but one-and-a half-years on one charge and all but 389 days on the other charge for Tetreault’s total sentence. The judge also gave her five years of supervised probation and ordered her to enroll in a detention center drug program. In January Tetreault entered a Alford plea for second-degree assault and pleaded guilty to neglect of a minor. The assault count had been modified from the original charge of second-degree child abuse, which is a felony.

According to court documents, Tetreault was caring for her 17-month-old grandson at her home Feb. 9, 2017. She texted the child’s mother that the child would not stop crying and later, that he had a hard stomach. Subsequent texts stated, “don’t be mad at me” and “I didn’t drug him.” After the mother picked the child up the boy was observed “fading in and out of consciousness,” court documents stated. The child was taken to Calvert Memorial Hospital where he tested positive for methadone. After several doses of Narcan were administered the child was transported to Georgetown University Hospital Center. A search of Tetreault’s residence yielded several bottles of methadone.

“This is an extremely emotional day,” said Calvert County Deputy State’s Attorney Kathryn Marsh, who noted the child’s mother was in the courtroom but declined to speak during the proceedings. The victim’s mother, said Marsh, couldn’t understand “how anybody could allow a baby to have access to methadone.” The mother, said Marsh, wanted Tetreault to receive, “as much jail time as possible due to the life-threatening circumstances.”

Tetreault’s attorney, Luke E. Woods, said his client admits “neglect” by leaving the cap off a bottle of methadone that the baby found. “I need to accept responsibility for the mistakes I made,” said Tetreault, adding that the “only good thing” that came out of the incident was her determination to fight her addiction to methadone.

“What a cancer addiction is,” said Chandlee to the defendant, adding that her negligence almost killed a child and “ruined your relationship” with her grandchild’s family. Chandlee said he believed the sentence was fair since it addressed punishment and rehabilitation.

Tetreault is to begin serving her sentence immediately. She is to have no contact with the victim or his family.

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