North Adams mom goes on trial in infant daughter's overdose


PITTSFIELD — Prosecutors allege it was the mother's criminal negligence that allowed her 12-month-old daughter to gain access to and ingest Klonopin that led to her overdose in May 2014.

Richard LeBlanc — defense attorney for Kelly Simonetta, 37, of North Adams — did not dispute her child's overdose, but said her ability to get a hold of the medication was not the result of any crime his client committed. The child required an emergency flight by air ambulance for treatment at a Springfield hospital. She survived the ordeal.

Testimony in Simonetta's trial on charges of reckless endangerment of a child, possession of heroin and possession of lidocaine began Friday in Berkshire Superior Court before Judge John Agostini.

Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Rachael Eramo said in her opening statement the case was about "action and inaction," and how Simonetta's lack of action created a substantial risk to her year-old twins in the house.

Eramo said Simonetta left Klonopin tablets in a drawer she knew the children often opened and rummaged through, and only kept the drawer secure with a piece of duct tape, which the children were able to remove on their own. Klonopin is a sedative.

LeBlanc said the pills were loose in a box of items dropped off at the house by a family member and, once they were found, were wrapped in paper, put in a jar, which was then put at the back of the drawer, which was then taped shut.

Leblanc told jurors there are disputes whether the children gained access to the drawer while Simonetta was sleeping or while she was simply out of the room.

Eramo said that during the execution of a search warrant during the investigation into the overdose, heroin packets and other drug paraphernalia were found, leading to the narcotics charges.

Testimony in the trial is expected to continue into next week.

Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.


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