Gadsden woman charged with chemical endangerment of newborn baby

Crime

GADSDEN, Ala. (WIAT) — A Gadsden woman has been arrested after her newborn baby was found with opiates and marijuana in his system.

Karla Anne Coats, 33, of Gadsden, was arrested Friday and charged with chemical endangerment of exposing a child to “an environment in which controlled substances are ingested, produced or distributed,” according to a press release from the Etowah County Sheriff’s Office. 

Sheriff Jonathan Horton said that on September 20, 2020, Coats delivered a baby boy at Gadsden Regional Medical Center. However, the baby had to be transferred to another hospital due to respiratory distress. Later on, doctors discovered that the baby tested positive for opiates and marijuana.

According to the ECSO, Coats tested negative when she delivered her baby, but did have a positive drug screen at a previous OBGYN doctor’s appointment. After being released from the hospital, Coates admitted herself to a house drug treatment facility, where she has been for the last year.

Coats turned herself over to police into the Sheriff’s Office and is being held on a $10,000 bond. The Department of Human Resources has been involved in the case. 

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