Mother of baby that overdosed on heroin gets 30 days
The mother of a five-month-old Fairfax County boy, who overdosed on heroin last year, was sentenced to 30 days in the Fairfax jail Friday for felony child neglect.
The sentence was the same as the one a Fairfax jury recommended last week.
Marilyn R. Fischl, 36, was not in her rented Springfield townhouse when her baby was allegedly given heroin by his babysitters in July. But one of the two babysitters, Erin Flynn, 32, testified that Fischl had given the heroin to her housemate, Patrick Hall, earlier that morning, and that Flynn and Hall had snorted lines of heroin with the baby nearby.
Flynn, who pleaded guilty in March to felony child abuse, testified that she went outside to smoke cigarettes, and when she came back inside, Hall had placed the baby in a car seat and the baby had a small piece of paper in his mouth.
"I thought it might have been the piece of paper that Patrick and I had consumed heroin off of," Flynn said. Hall's trial is pending.
When Fischl came home, she said the baby was having a seizure and she rushed him to the hospital. The baby has since recovered.
Fischl's two other children, ages 2 and 10, were removed from her custody after the incident. When police searched her home in October, they found more than 100 syringes and, allegedly, heroin.
Fischl took the stand and denied giving Hall heroin. A jury convicted her of felony child neglect on April 28, with a possible sentence of up to five years in prison, and sentenced her to 30 days in the county jail. Convicted felons must serve at least 87 percent of their sentences, whether in jail or prison.
Fairfax Circuit Court Judge David S. Schell could have reduced the jury sentence. But on Friday, he imposed it without change.
The judge asked Fischl if she had anything to say. Fischl did not express remorse or admit any guilt. Instead, she said that the drug treatment facility where she had been staying prior to trial "was a good place for me. I feel that's where I belong instead of an institution or jail."
Fischl still faces trial on a heroin possession charge stemming from the October search.
-- Tom Jackman
May 7, 2010; 11:43 AM ET
Categories: Fairfax , From the Courthouse , Tom Jackman , Updates
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