This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
A Layton woman has pleaded guilty to causing the death of her baby girl last year by giving the child methadone.
Courtney Nicole Howell, 27, was charged in 2nd District Court in last October with first-degree felony causing a child to be exposed to a controlled substance in the March death of her 17-month-old child.
Howell pleaded guilty on Wednesday to lesser second-degree counts of manslaughter and causing a child to be exposed to a controlled substance.
She admitted giving methadone to her fussy daughter to help her fall asleep, according to defense attorney Todd Utzinger.
Howell faces up to 15 years on each count when she is sentenced Aug. 19 by Judge David Hamilton.
According to an arrest warrant, Howell called 911 on March 14, 2014, to report that her daughter was not breathing. The infant was taken to Davis Hospital and Medical Center, where she later died.
An autopsy revealed that the child died from "acute methadone toxicity," according to the arrest warrant.
When police searched Howell's home, they found several baby bottles in her bedroom. Several months later, police returned to the home and found what appeared to be the same bottles that had been in the bedroom now in her refrigerator. The state crime lab determined there was methadone in one of the bottles, according to the arrest warrant.
Howell had a prescription for methadone at the time of the child's death, court records state.