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Kingsport drug suspects charged with child abuse

October 25th, 2013 9:29 am by Rain Smith

Kingsport drug suspects charged with child abuse

Jami Holt and Shawn Holt

A welfare check has led police to an apartment littered with trash, pills, pot and paraphernalia, prompting the arrest of a Kingsport couple on drug and child neglect charges.

A young child was located in the residence on a dirty, bare mattress with no sheets, while his mother allegedly admitted to breastfeeding her infant while high.

According to affidavits filed in Kingsport court, police were asked to check on a 3-month-old and 8-year-old at Model City Apartments, 1000 Stonegate Road. Shortly before midnight on Wednesday, officers visited unit R-15, finding it "littered with dirty dishes, trash, piles of dirty clothes and partially eaten plates of food."

An officer also noted that the unkempt apartment had "a strong sour smell" mingled with the odor of marijuana.

Police report resident Jami Holt, 22, was holding her infant when they arrived and began "pacing the floor, crying and displaying erratic behavior." With a white substance at the corners of her mouth, according to police, she "admitted that she was high on Subutex, Tramadol and any pain pill she could get."

Court records state that she also admitted to breastfeeding her daughter while under the influence.

Jami Holt's husband, Shawn Holt, 28, was also present when police conducted the welfare check. Police say his pupils were dilated, speech slow and deliberate, but he denied any drug use.

A few minutes into the investigation, officers located the couple's 8-year-old child in a bedroom, lying on a dirty mattress with no sheets.

Jami Holt then reportedly led police to a dresser, opening it to display 40 pills, a set of scales, pill crusher, cut straw and glass smoking pipe. Affidavits say three cigarette butts believed to contain marijuana were also located in the kitchen.

Due to their drug use and "inability to care for their children," both Jami and Shawn Holt were arrested at the scene.

They are each charged with two counts of aggravated child abuse and neglect, maintaining a dwelling for controlled substances, possession of a Legend drug without a prescription, simple possession of drugs, and possession of drug paraphernalia. They were each booked into the city jail.

The Department of Children's Services was contacted about the incident.

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