Parents facing charges after 3-year-old apparently overdoses on pills

Jeff Bobo • Apr 16, 2013 at 3:18 AM

CHURCH HILL — The mother of a 3-year-old boy who nearly died after apparently overdosing on her medication last month was formally charged Friday with child neglect/endangerment.

The charge wasn’t pertaining to solely the drug overdose, however, but also due to the residence occupied by three small children allegedly being filthy and infested with insects crawling on food, dishes, and on a sleeping child.

Hayley Brooke Hamilton, 31, 220 Old Union Road Lot 6, Church Hill, was arraigned Monday in Hawkins County Sessions Court on one count of child neglect/endangerment and was subsequently released on $1,000 bond.

According to the sheriff’s office, the charge was delayed so the child could have its mother with it during recovery. Hamilton is scheduled to appear in Sessions Court again on May. 1

The child’s father, Michael Christopher Hunley, 24, same address, was arrested shortly after the March 15 incident in which the child was taken to the Holston Valley Medical Center with a near fatal overdose.

Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit Sgt. Lynn Campbell responded the HVMC emergency room March 15 after being contacted by hospital personnel about the child’s condition.

Campbell said the child was brought to the emergency room by Hamilton with "an altered level of consciousness and shallow respirations from a possible overdose of Subutex and Valium."

The child was treated for both types of overdose and was later admitted to the HVMC Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

Hamilton reportedly told Campbell she was home washing dishes that day and Hunley was outside working on a vehicle when she observed her son to "become drowsy and fall asleep in the floor."

"When she went to pick him up she observed him to be limp, had glassy eyes, and he was snoring," Campbell said. "Mrs. Hamilton stated she was unable to wake (the boy). She then observed her medication — Subutex and Valium — was missing from a non-childproof container that stays in her purse, which sits on the floor."

After interviewing Hamilton at the hospital Campbell went to her residence where Hunley was staying with the two other children ages 2 and 4.

Hunley reportedly gave verbal consent to search the residence, at which time Campbell allegedly observed the residence to be "unsanitary and unsafe." He said the children had "poor hygiene and appeared to be unkempt."

"While at the residence I observed cockroaches in and on food and food storage areas, on dishes including a child’s cup and bottle, and crawling on the 4-year-old while she was sleeping," Campbell said. "There was also trash, filth and clutter throughout the entire residence and outside."

Campbell added, "I also observed the flooring to be unsound and exposed electrical wiring, and (Hunley) made a verbal statement that he thought a ‘wharf rat’ was loose in the residence."

Hunley was arrested at the residence on March 15 on one count of child abuse/neglect. He was released from the Hawkins County Jail on March 18 on $10,000 bond and is will appear again in Hawkins County Sessions Court on April 24.

Recommended for You

    Kingsport Times News Videos