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Utah woman wanted by cops after delivering drug-addicted baby

Published November 13, 2012 7:34 am

Summit County • Charged with child abuse, woman has long criminal history.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A Summit County mother has been charged with child abuse after giving birth to a drug-addicted baby.

Third District Court records in Coalville show Shea Renee Sheeran, 27, is the subject of a $100,000 arrest warrant issued late last Friday. She faces two second-degree felony counts — one for intentionally inflicting serious physical injury to a child, and another for endangerment of a child.

Sheeran, last listed as living in Kamas, remained at large Monday, the Summit County Sheriff's Office confirmed.

According to a probable cause statement, Sheeran gave birth to a baby boy on Aug. 29 at the Park City Medical Center. Toxicology tests on both the mother and newborn showed positive results for amphetamines and opiates, prosecutors allege.

"[The infant] began experiencing drug withdrawal symptoms within six hours of his birth," the charges contend. "Specifically, [the infant] experienced tremors, exhibited high-pitched screaming, was vomiting and had severe diarrhea. [The child] was also hypersensitive to light, sound and touch."

On Aug. 31, the newborn was flown to Intermountain Medical Center in Murray for treatment, spending the next several weeks in the hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

The baby has since been placed in an adoptive home. However, his prognosis remains uncertain, and prosecutors note that the boy "may suffer long-term complications from being exposed to control substances in utero, including brain damage and learning disabilities."

Prosecutors charge Sheeran admitted to detectives that during her pregnancy she took prescription Adderall and Clonazepam, keeping her pregnancy a secret from her physician. The defendant also admitted to having used cocaine and heroin while carrying her child.

Court documents indicate Sheeran was on parole from Utah State Prison at the time she gave birth, having served time for forgery and illegal drug possession.

Indeed, her criminal record dates back to 2003, when she pleaded guilty two third-degree felony counts of drug possession and a lesser misdemeanor drug charge, according to a search of Utah court records.

In 2006, she pleaded guilty to two counts of theft by receiving and one count of theft, all misdemeanors.

In a 2007 case, Sheeran pleaded guilty to third-degree felony forgery and misdemeanor theft, and was sent to prison for up to five years.

She was sent to prison again in 2009, after pleading guilty to one count of third-degree felony forgery.

remims@sltrib.com