Drug-addicted babies in Park City lead to criminal charges
A woman who gave birth to a drug-addicted baby at a Park City hospital last year then failed to show up to her sentencing was booked into jail Tuesday.
Constance Villa, 25, pleaded guilty in August in Summit County's 3rd District Court to one count of child abuse and three counts of child endangerment, all second-degree felonies. However, she didn't come to her sentencing in October.
Prosecutors believed the woman left the state, and a $100,000 warrant was issued for her arrest. She was booked into the Summit County jail for failure to appear on Tuesday.
According to court documents, Villa gave birth to a baby boy on Dec. 14, 2011. The boy was born underweight weighing 4.4 pounds and was 17 inches long. The baby tested positive for benzodiazepines, opiates and cannabinoids, and was flown to the University Hospital for medical treatment.
The baby remained in intensive care for six weeks, while he was treated for respiratory issues and for "neonatal abstinence syndrome," a withdrawal symptom, according to court documents. A doctor who treated the baby said the child may suffer long-term complications because of Villa's drug use, and may have developmental issues, according to charging documents.
Another women who also gave birth to a drug-addicted baby in that same hospital earlier this year pleaded guilty to child endangerment last week.
Shea Sheeran, 27, was charged with child abuse and child endangerment both second-degree felonies after she gave birth to a drug-addicted baby boy at Park City Medical Center on Aug. 29. Both Sheeran and the baby tested positing for drugs and the child began experiencing drug withdrawal symptoms six hours after birth, according to prosecutors.
Sheeran's child was adopted by another family after treatment at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, but he may suffer long-term brain damage and learning disabilities, according to charging documents.
Sheeran pleaded guilty to the child endangerment charge as part of a plea deal in exchange for the child abuse charge being dismissed. She faces a possible one-to-15-year prison term when she is sentenced Jan. 14.