North Adams woman convicted in child's accidental overdose
PITTSFIELD — A North Adams woman was criminally reckless when she inadvertently allowed her then 1-year-old daughter access to prescription medication, leading to a non-fatal overdose, a jury has ruled.
Kelly Simonetta, 37, was convicted on charges of reckless endangerment of a child, possession of heroin and possession of lidocaine following about nine hours of deliberations Thursday and Friday.
Judge John Agostini released her on her own recognizance pending a sentencing hearing, scheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday in Berkshire Superior Court.
Testimony in the trial began last Friday.
Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Rachael Eramo contended Simonetta's lack of action created the situation, leading to the overdose.
Eramo said Simonetta left Klonopin tablets in a drawer she knew her children often opened and rummaged through, and only kept the drawer secure with a piece of duct tape, which they were able to remove on their own.
The child who overdosed had to be flown via air ambulance to a Springfield hospital for treatment, but ultimately recovered.
Simonetta's attorney, Richard LeBlanc, acknowledged the May 7, 2014, overdose, but said his client took what she thought were adequate steps to keep the pills out of the reach of her children, including wrapping them in paper and placing them into a jar placed at the back of the drawer, which was then taped shut.
Those pills arrived loose in a box of items dropped off at her house by a family member, LeBlanc said, and were stored in the drawer, because there was no way to appropriately dispose of them at that time.
It was during the investigation into the overdose that heroin packets and other drug paraphernalia were discovered, leading to the narcotics possession charges.
According to the Massachusetts Legislature's website, the maximum penalty on the endangerment charge is a 2 1/2 year jail sentence.
The investigation was conducted by members of the North Adams Police Department and state police detectives assigned to the Berkshire District Attorney's Office.
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