Kennewick man pleads innocent to toddler meth poisoning

Kristin M. Kraemer, Tri-City HeraldFebruary 6, 2013 

A Kennewick man pleaded innocent Tuesday to allegations that while he was watching his 20-month-old niece, the girl drank some questionable juice in his home and later tested positive for methamphetamine.

Christopher Desean Jackson, 31, claimed that he buys meth from another person in his home and that he used the drug days before this incident, according to court documents.

While caring for the child all day Jan. 28, Jackson noticed that she was "acting strangely and rubbing her eyes," documents said. Hours later when his mother came to pick up all four of her granddaughters, she reportedly made the same observations and noted that the girl had very red eyes, was "wringing her hands and blowing saliva bubbles."

The grandmother -- who police said has custody of the girl -- took her to Kennewick General Hospital, where a drug test allegedly showed the presence of meth.

Jackson has been in custody since Jan. 30 and remains held on $20,000 bail.

He's charged in Benton County Superior Court with endangerment with a controlled substance -- for knowingly permitting the girl to ingest meth while in his care -- and possession of meth. His trial is scheduled for March 18.

Jackson will return to court Thursday for the judge to sign an order telling him to have no contact with his niece while the case is pending.

Court documents show that a Kennewick officer was sent to the emergency room after getting a call about a child with meth in her system.

The girl was held overnight for observation at the hospital. Police said Child Protective Services then took her into protective custody.

Officer Craig Hanson met with the girl's grandmother, who gave a timeline of the day's events.

The victim was dropped off at Jackson's home about 6:45 a.m. and was not acting unusual at that time, documents said.

Jackson sent his mother a text at 4 p.m. indicating his niece was acting strangely. At 6:30 p.m., the grandmother left her three other granddaughters with Jackson.

When she returned to the home at 9 p.m., she noticed the 20-month-old's condition and took her to the hospital. She still was at the hospital when Jackson contacted his mother on her phone, said the girl "may have taken some juice belonging to (another resident)" and instructed his mother to have his niece tested for drugs, court documents said. Jackson reportedly didn't specify what type of drug.

Hanson had been told that Jackson was responsible for caring for the children.

Police got a search warrant for Jackson's South Newport Street apartment and seized a broken glass pipe with white residue from a shelf in a room that paperwork showed belongs to Jackson, documents said. Kennewick Detective John Davis reported that the pipe and residue were consistent with a pipe used to smoke methamphetamine.

Another broken glass pipe with white residue and a plastic bag with white residue were found in a bathroom, and multiple prescription sleeping pills were found in a different bedroom, court documents said.

"Officers also located multiple bottles and cups containing unknown liquids throughout the residence," Deputy Prosecutor Emily Sullivan wrote in documents.

Police contacted Jackson at his mother's home.

In an interview after he was read his Miranda rights, Jackson said he used meth Jan. 24, court documents said. He also admitting knowing that another resident sells drugs out of the home, uses meth there and has made multiple meth bongs, documents said.

Jackson further told detectives that his niece "was exposed to methamphetamine while in his care because he was not watching her," Sullivan wrote, "and that he would not allow his own kids to stay in (another resident's) room for fear that they would 'get into something.' "

The resident had not been charged in connection with the case as of Tuesday.

Prosecutors said it requires a police investigation into any alleged criminal activity on the other person's part and a recommendation for charges.

Tri-City Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service