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Mom pleads guilty to manslaughter in drug-related death

September 29, 2022 GMT

BANGOR, Maine (AP) — A woman on Thursday acknowledged causing the death of her 3-year-old daughter, who died from a brain injury consistent with opioid abuse.

Hillary Goding, 29, pleaded guilty to manslaughter under a plea agreement in which murder charges were dropped. Her attorney and prosecutors agreed to recommend a sentence in which she’d serve 17 to 22 years in prison, the Bangor Daily News reported.

Goding was arrested the same day her daughter Hailey was pronounced dead at Bangor hospital in June 2021.

She told police she believed her daughter ingested heroin from a plastic straw that she’d used to consume the drug. Heroin often is often cut with the more potent fentanyl, which was indicated in a drug screen administered at the hospital.

Hailey was one of three children in the Bangor region allegedly killed by a parent that same month, contributing ongoing scrutiny over the state’s child welfare system.