A 9-year-old boy is dead of an apparent drug overdose, and the man whose home he died in is under investigation, according to local law enforcement. Pennsylvania police have charged the 58-year-old man with child endangerment, following the tragic death. More information about the specifics of the situation will be required in order to mount an effective criminal defense.
According to preliminary reports, the 58-year-old man, whose relationship with the 9-year-old victim is unknown, was aware that the child had struggled with drug and alcohol issues when the boy was left in his care. The man admitted the boy was acting "strangely" when he was dropped off by unknown parties. The boy was found on the following morning unresponsive, and he was later declared dead.
Officially, the cause of death has been attributed to an overdose of the painkiller oxycontin, which the man admitted to having in his home. He also said he was aware the child had used the drug in conjunction with marijuana and alcohol. The boy's stepbrother, who was also in the home, told police the man waited to call 911 after finding the boy unconscious. If found guilty, the man could face serious jail time.
The unusual nature of this case will have to be taken into consideration in any criminal defense preparation. If the child already struggled with alcohol and drug use, the parents may share some of the onus for leaving the boy in a problematic environment. Ultimately, Pennsylvania prosecutors and the defense alike will require more information before either side can develop a comprehensive case.
Source: ksby.com, "Pennsylvania man charged after 9-year-old left in his care dies of oxycontin overdose", Oct. 15, 2014