Mother gets 2 years in prison after cocaine use leads to 5-month-old sons death

  • Canarian Weekly
  • 17-05-2024
  • Gran Canaria
  • Photo Credit: Adobe Stock / C7
Mother gets 2 years in prison after cocaine use leads to 5-month-old sons death

A mother was sentenced to two years in prison yesterday (Thursday) after admitting to consuming significant amounts of cocaine and then breastfeeding her five-month-old baby son who suffered an adverse reaction to the drugs, resulting in his death.

The mother faced charges of involuntary manslaughter, with the prosecution initially seeking a four-year prison sentence. However, a plea agreement reduced the sentence to two years.

Judge Juan Gallego Ortiz of the Criminal Court No. 3 in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria issued the two-year prison sentence, which may be suspended if the mother, Ana Isabel Benítez Jiménez, demonstrates participation in a substance abuse rehabilitation program during the execution phase of the sentence. During the investigation, Benítez claimed to be an occasional cocaine user.

The tragic incident occurred on December 22nd, 2020, during the Christmas season. Benítez, who had been in a relationship for three months, planned to spend December 20th-24th at a rural house in the Diseminado Caserío de Marente, Montaña Alta (Santa María de Guía), with her partner and her nearly five-month-old baby son.

Mother gets 2 years in prison after cocaine use leads to 5-month-old sons death

On the afternoon of December 22nd, Benítez and her partner consumed significant amounts of alcohol and cocaine, handling and cutting the cocaine on a table in the house, according to the prosecutor.

The prosecutor's statement detailed that after ingesting the cocaine, Benítez "breached her objective duty of care for the baby" by expressing her breast milk and preparing a bottle for him. After feeding him, the infant was gravely intoxicated, likely due to the ingestion of cocaine through breast milk or contact with the bottle's teat after Benítez had handled the cocaine.

The forensic report concluded that the most probable cause of the drug entering the infant's system was through her breast milk, which caused a fatal reaction in the young child. The baby was previously healthy and well cared for.

The prosecutor found no evidence that Benítez's partner prepared the bottle or had contact with the baby after consuming cocaine, and thus, he was not charged with any crime.