A 34-year-old Albany woman is in the Benton County Jail, awaiting trial on allegations that she gave methadone to her 3-month-old baby to make the child sleep.

Magan Michelle McDermott is charged with causing another person to ingest a controlled substance, unlawful delivery of methadone, first-degree criminal mistreatment and third-degree assault, all felonies.

She has pleaded not guilty.

The charges stem from an incident that happened last month at the home of McDermott’s sister in the 2600 block of Orchard Heights Avenue in North Albany.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed in the case, Albany police were summoned to the house at 3:26 a.m. on Nov. 24 for a report of an infant who was unconscious and not breathing.

Based on information that the child’s mother had given him methadone — an opioid used to treat severe pain and narcotic addiction — medics administered the anti-overdose drug naloxone (also known under the brand name Narcan), at which point the boy regained consciousness and began crying, the affidavit states.

The police detective who wrote the affidavit estimated that the child might have stopped breathing for as long as 14 minutes.

The baby was taken first to Samaritan Albany General Hospital and then to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland for treatment and is now in foster care under state supervision, according to court documents filed in the case.

At the time of the incident, the affidavit states, the child was in his father’s custody. He had brought the baby to McDermott’s sister’s house so that the boy could spend time with his mother.

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Shortly before 2:30 a.m., McDermott’s sister told police, she awoke to the sound of screaming and went into the living room, where the child had reportedly stopped breathing. The sister told police that the father was giving the child CPR and asking McDermott what she had done to their baby, according to the affidavit.

McDermott, who left the house before police arrived, was arrested that afternoon, the affidavit states.

According to the affidavit, McDermott told her sister in a text message that she gave the child methadone to help him sleep.

It isn’t clear from the affidavit or court papers why McDermott might have had methadone in her possession, and a spokesman for the Albany Police Department said he didn’t have that information.

There was a brief hearing in the case on Tuesday morning in Benton County Circuit Court before Judge Locke Williams.

Salem attorney Zachary Stern, representing McDermott, said she was waiving her right to a speedy trial and that the defense needed more time for discovery in the case.

Deputy Benton County District Attorney Kristen Farnworth represented the state, and Portland attorney Erin K. Olson, appearing by telephone, represented the child’s interests as the victim in the case.

McDermott’s next scheduled court date is a status check hearing at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 8.

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Reporter Bennett Hall can be reached at 541-758-9529 or bennett.hall@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter at @bennetthallgt.


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