Carlsbad mother found guilty of child abuse in overdose case appeals her conviction

CARLSBAD, N.M. (KRQE) – A Carlsbad mother found guilty of child abuse after her twelve-year-old son overdosed on drugs is appealing her 14-year prison sentence. Alexis Smith was found guilty in September of two counts of child abuse, one of them resulting in death.

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Brent Sullivan died after overdosing on fentanyl back in November 2021. It happened at the home of Kelli Smith, his grandmother, and Alexis’ mother. Alexis Smith’s other child was also at home at the time.

Smith’s lawyers filed a notice to appeal laying out why they think the verdict should be overturned. One issue is whether or not Smith left her son in a place where illegal narcotics were within his reach. The state argued that with both Alexis and Kelli’s previous drug use, it should have known there could be drugs in Kelli Smith’s home. Alexis Smith’s lawyer claimed their client had reason to believe her mother was clean and the house was safe meaning it couldn’t be intentional child abuse resulting in death.

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