Asbury Park Woman Sentenced to 8 Years in Prison for Her 2-Year-Old Son’s Overdose Death
FREEHOLD – In a shocking turn of events, Quanique Smith, a 27-year-old woman from Asbury Park, has been handed an eight-year prison sentence for her involvement in the overdose death of her two-year-old son. Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago made the announcement on Saturday, leaving the local community in disbelief.
Under the provisions of New Jersey’s No Early Release Act (NERA), Smith will have to serve at least 85 percent of the sentence before becoming eligible for parole. This stringent guideline was established during a hearing presided over by Monmouth County Superior Court Assignment Judge Marc C. Lemieux.
The incident occurred in the early hours of Thursday, January 5, when officers from the Asbury Park Police Department responded to a distress call regarding an unresponsive child at an apartment unit on Langford Street. Unfortunately, despite urgent medical attention, the child was pronounced dead at a local hospital around 2 a.m.
Detective Stephen Cavendish from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office’s Major Crimes Bureau, along with Detective Anthony Houlis from the Asbury Park Police Department, spearheaded the subsequent investigation. Their findings revealed that the child had ingested heroin and fentanyl, which were easily accessible in the family’s residence. It was determined that these drugs belonged to Smith, putting her at the center of the tragedy. Later that day, Smith was taken into custody and transferred to the Monmouth County Correctional Institution (MCCI). She was formally indicted in late March.
Smith, represented by Allison Friedman, Esq., based in Freehold, pleaded guilty to first-degree Aggravated Manslaughter in May. However, the charge was treated as a second-degree offense for the purposes of sentencing. Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Stephanie L. Dugan oversaw the prosecution of the case, ensuring that justice was served.
The gravity of the tragic incident has left the local community reeling, as the loss of a young life due to a preventable circumstance is always deeply unsettling. The verdict offers a measure of closure while also sending a strong message about the consequences of neglect and the devastating impact it can have on innocent lives.
As the image of a brown wooden gavel on a brown wooden table signifies authority, it serves as a stark reminder of the weight of responsibility that must be borne by parents and caregivers. The photo by EKATERINA BOLOVTSOVA, available on Pexels.com, captures the essence of the judicial system and the significant decision that was made in this case.
This tragic episode will undoubtedly stand as a somber reminder of the importance of keeping dangerous substances out of reach, especially for households with young children. The hope is that this outcome will serve as a warning to others and prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future.