CHICAGO (STMW) - A West Side man was sentenced to two years in prison Thursday for endangering the life of a 2-year-old boy who died from methadone poisoning while under his care last year.
Reginal Z. Brown, 37, was sentenced two years in prison by Judge Stanley Sacks after pleading guilty to one count of endangering the life of a child, according to Cook County court records.
Brown was babysitting 2-year-old Mickel Brown on June 18, 2014, in his first-floor apartment when the toddler ingested the synthetic opioid, which is commonly used as a painkiller and to treat narcotic addiction, authorities said at the time.
Mickel’s mother had dropped the boy off at Brown’s residence three days before he died, prosecutors said. Brown had a previous relationship with Mickel’s mother and babysat him occasionally
The night before Mickel’s death, Brown’s girlfriend — a heroin user — slept over and left the cup of methadone she had been drinking in the room she stayed in with Brown and the child, prosecutors said.
In the morning, Brown saw Mickel take the cup from the windowsill and put it to his lips. But instead of taking the cup away, he left Mickel in the room and went back to the kitchen of the apartment in the 1400 block of South Kedvale Avenue.
Minutes before, two other people in the apartment heard a slap and saw Brown take Mickel to the bedroom for spilling his cereal, prosecutors said. Fifteen minutes later, the toddler crawled out of the bedroom and then slumped against the washing machine.
When one of the guests noticed the child was limp and extremely sleepy, Brown said the boy was “faking it” and took him back to the bedroom, prosecutors said.
Hours later, Brown called 911 and attempted CPR on Mickel.
By this time, his guests had left but three relatives had stopped by to see their bedridden uncle who also lived in Brown’s apartment.
When the trio saw the ambulance arrive after they had been there for 15 to 20 minutes, they asked Brown why he didn’t tell them Mickel was there, prosecutors said. They also asked him why he hadn’t yelled for help while tending to the child.
Mickel was taken to Mount Sinai Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, authorities said. An autopsy determined Mickel died of methadone toxicity and his death was ruled a homicide.
Brown will receive credit for 247 days served in the Cook County jail, according to court records.