Courtney Nicole Howell killed her baby girl by giving her a lethal dose of methadone in an effort to get the 17-month-old infant to go to sleep. On Wednesday, Howell was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the murder.
Jaslynn Mansfield might have survived the dose of methadone placed in her bottle if Courtney Howell, 27, had told emergency room staff the baby had the drug in her system, a Daily Mail report says. The Layton, Utah, mother pleaded guilty to killing her baby girl in July. Howell ultimately said thought that putting methadone in Jaslynn’s bottle would only put her to sleep, and not harm or kill the infant.
During her court appearance earlier this week, Courtney Howell was tearful and said she would regret putting methadone in her baby’s bottle for the rest of her life, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.
“Trying to forgive myself is an endless battle I struggle with daily,’ she said as she wiped away her tears. “I can’t make up my wrong by giving my little girl back her life. I plan to take every opportunity given to me to help change myself and my life.”
Howell also told Judge David Hamilton that did hold herself accountable for Jaslynn’s death and added that she hopes to spend the rest of her life “raising awareness about drug abuse and child endangerment.” Howell’s attorney, Todd Utzinger, asked the judge to sentence his client to two consecutive 15 year terms instead of a single 30 year term for the death of Jaslynn. Prosecutors argued that Howell did not tell hospital staff that the baby was given methadone, information they which they feel would have saved her life.
Judge Hamilton refused the request and noted that the baby was born addicted to methadone, and said Jaslynn Mansfield “didn’t have a chance.”
Several months before Jaslynn was born, her father died from a methadone overdose, according to statements made by the infant’s relatives when stating Courtney had to know how dangerous it was to give the drug to the baby.
“[Jaslynn] was a piece of my son that we had lost,” Grandmother Bonnie Carrillo told the judge. “It’s a challenge to try to keep moving on without her in our life.”
[Images via: Utah police release, Facebook, and Shutterstock]