Charge: Auburn parents dosed infant son with methadone

AUBURN, Wash. -- An Auburn couple accused of dosing their 6-week-old son with methadone now faces assault charges.

King County prosecutors contend Stacie McKay and Darin Teeters fed the baby boy methadone earlier this month. The poisoning was discovered after the boy was rushed to Seattle Children's hospital.

The boy arrived at Children's shortly after 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 14 with high levels of methadone in his system. Writing the court, an Auburn detective noted the boy's methadone level was about 150 times what would be expected had he simply been fed breast milk from a mother using the narcotic.

Interviewed by police, McKay, 28, and Teeters, 26, both initially denied giving methadone to their child. According to charging papers, Teeters then told police McKay admitted to him that she put "a tiny bit" of the drug - a pain killer often given to heroin addicts attempting to kick the habit - into the boy's bottle to help him with withdrawals and the pain of circumcision.

Confronted by police, McKay said she believed the boy was going through post-birth withdrawals, an Auburn detective told the court. According to charging papers, McKay claimed she returned home from the store to find that Teeters had fed their son from the bottle she'd tainted, and that the boy was having trouble breathing.

"McKay called her friend who responded about 10 minutes later and agreed that (the boy) did not look good and should be taken to the hospital," the Auburn detective said in charging papers. "McKay exclaimed to detective that she 'saved' (her son) because Teeters just sat there as (he) was having a hard time breathing."

Teeters claimed he didn't call 911 because he was concerned Child Protective Services workers would pull the baby from their home, the detective continued.

Staff at Children's had to help the boy breathe when he arrived. Blood tests showed the boy had been given a substantial dose of methadone.

"This is a situation where the child was at risk of severe impairment or death, but fortunately should escape without residual" effects, a Children's doctor who handled the case reported, according to charging papers.

McKay and Teeters have each been charged with second-degree assault of a child. Both remain jailed on $200,000 bail; prosecutors have asked that McKay and Teeters be barred from having contact with any children, including their own.