A young mother, Ashlee Hutt, and her boyfriend, Leroy “Mac” McIver are being held on charges of injecting Hutt’s three small children with heroin.
The children were removed from the couple’s home in November of last year, six months after Child Protective Services (CPS) launched an investigation into their care.
It is not known at this time if McIver, 25, is the biological father of the children.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. They Called Heroin ‘The Feel Good Medicine’ to the Children & Administered the Drug to Make Them Sleep
According to KIRO 7, court documents revealed that Hutt and McIver, along with the three children, were living in a home that was “filled with rat droppings, drug needles and heroin.”
Someone who was at the home contacted CPS after saying they saw Hutt, 24, inject her children, aged six, four and two, with a dangerous substance.
“Some of the statements they [the children] made were very disturbing about how they would get sleeping juice to go to sleep and it was injected into them by needle,” Pierce County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Detective Ed Troyer said, as reported by KIRO.
A probable cause affidavit obtained by the station said the oldest child told CPS investigators that “his mom and dad gave him and his sisters the ‘feel good medicine,'” which “he described as a white powder which was mixed with water.” He also said McIver choked them before administering the drug more than once.
According to authorities, the boy said the pair used a needle to “inject the ‘feel good medicine’ into him and his sisters.” This goes along with CPS findings, who said they noticed scratches, markings and bruises on the two-year-old girl’s body consistent with being injected with drugs.
The child said him and his siblings would then fall asleep after being given the drug.
2.They Both Pleaded Not-Guilty to Charges
McIver was arrested in September after a bench warrant was issued, and Hutt was jailed after failing to show up to face charges in September.
According to court documents, Hutt and McIver pleaded not guilty to three counts of second-degree child assault, delivery of a controlled substance to a person under 18 and child endangerment.
Both McIver and Hutt are being held on $100,000 bonds.
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3. The Kids Are in Protective Custody & Are ‘Doing Well’
Traces of heroin were found in the two-year-old girl’s hair follicles after authorities removed her from the home. Another child also tested positive for the drug, while one child tested negative.
Troyer said that all three children are in foster homes and are “doing well,” according to KIRO 7.
A neighbor who spoke with the station said sheriff’s deputies were at the children’s home on a “regular basis.” He said he regularly saw kids at the home, but “didn’t know that was going on over there.”
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4. Hutt Chastised a Woman Online Whose Baby Died From Drugs
On a makeshift memorial on Facebook, Hutt said she knew a baby boy named Nathan who died from drugs. She stated:
Finally justice for you. I remember taking you out for walks to get you out of your nasty crib, seeing you not wheeze because you finally had fresh air! Feed you your first jars of baby food. It’s heartbreaking that you had to lose your life due to the state not listening. This never would’ve happened if you were with your father or family that actually cared for you.
Nathan died after ingesting meth and bong water, according to the New York Daily News. The baby’s mother, Alyia Iverson, was charged with first-degree manslaughter.
In a later post, Hutt chastised Nathan’s mother and wrote, “Alyia nothing will ever justify what you did.”
5. Recent Headlines Show the Devastating Effects of Heroin on Children
The story comes in the wake of headlines across America describing how children are forced to suffer the consequences of their loved one’s drug habits.
In the story above, which you can read here, the East Liverpool, Ohio Police Department shared two photos of a couple found in a car after both overdosed on heroin. A 4-year-old child was also found in the car with them. Police decided to make the photos and police report public in an effort to highlight the growing heroin addiction problem in Ohio.
On October 29, Erika Hurt was found passed out in her car, still holding a syringe, while her 10-month-old son was restrained in the back in a car seat, according to authorities.
Hurt apparently regained consciousness after being given two doses of Narcan, a drug used to reverse opioid overdoses. Her child was unharmed, The Washington Post reported.