Dad Gets Prison Time for Heroin in Baby's Bottle

The Philadelphia man said he was just trying to quiet down the little baby.

By Maryclaire Dale
|  Monday, Sep 30, 2013  |  Updated 3:13 PM EDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Dad Gets Prison Time for Heroin in Baby's Bottle

NBC10.com

The case opened a window into the world of two addicts, mother and father, who sought treatment after their daughter was born addicted to heroin in 2006, and were seemingly doing well.

advertisement

A Philadelphia man who put heroin and methadone in his infant's bottle to quiet him will have a lot of his own quiet time -- in prison.

Orlando Rosado will spend 15 to 40 years behind bars for the baby's death.

A judge said today that Rosado, 46, did not intend to kill his son, but is still a danger to himself and his family.

Rosado and his wife were both recovering addicts. But Rosado relapsed before the baby's death in May of 2011.

The mother was sleeping when Rosado gave Christopher his 3 a.m. bottle, just days before the son's first birthday.

Related Stories

The Rosado case opened a window into the world of two addicts, mother and father, who sought treatment after their daughter was born addicted to heroin in 2006, and were seemingly doing well. It's at least the second case in Philadelphia in which a baby died after drinking a heroin-laced bottle.

Medical records show Christopher was healthy, if small for his age, and there was no evidence of prior abuse or neglect. Photographs show the house was neatly kept, and the boy's mother said Rosado handled the overnight feedings, and boiled water to make the formula. And a friend came every day at 7 a.m. to take him to a methadone clinic for treatment.

"He was pretty good with the baby,'' said the friend, Giovanni Nieves.

But Nieves knew that Rosado was still using, buying both heroin and methadone on the street. He was also being treated for bipolar disorder.

When Nieves arrived the morning of May 11, 2012, a hysterical Rosado ran outside carrying his limp, discolored boy.

The baby had vomited into his bassinet, apparently as the drugs slowed and then stopped his breathing.

Rosado initially told police that he had no idea what happened, and admitted only in a third interview, after toxicology tests came back, that he had done eight bags of heroin after the boy's mother went to bed.

The mother, 29-year-old Crystal Miller, was also in a daily methadone program. She thought Rosado had been clean since their daughter's birth, she testified.

"Can you believe he tried to blame it on (her)?'' Miller, crying, asked a companion after Tuesday's verdict.

Defense lawyer Bruce Wolf argued that Rosado may have been reckless, but did not act with malice, as is required for the third-degree verdict. But McDermott questioned the decision to take heroin while caring for the infant.

The older child, now 6, lives with Rosado's mother and sister, who were in the courtroom to support him but declined to comment afterward.

When Rosado was tried in July, McDermott acquitted Rosado of drug delivery causing death, finding there was no evidence he administered the drugs intentionally, despite the prosecutor's theory.

"In his warped mind, he thought this would be OK ... to make the baby sleep,'' Assistant District Attorney Lorraine Donnelly had argued.

Prosecutors had sought 22 years for the third-degree murder conviction.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Rosado told Common Pleas Judge Barbara McDermott he hopes to remain sober in honor of his son.

McDermott says he'll have to do that in prison.

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
What's New
FlyeredUp: Win 2 Tickets to Flyers Playoff Game
Win two tickets to the first 2014... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out