JEFF DAVIS COUNTY, Ga. (WSAV) – A mother pleaded guilty Wednesday to causing the death of her 10-month-old son back in 2020.
Jessica Lynn Gay, 25, was sentenced to serve the maximum possible sentence of 10 years in prison for involuntary manslaughter.
Officials say on June 6, 2020, Gay was bathing her 10-month-old son, Daltyn Hand, at her Hazlehurst residence.
The mother was said to be under the influence of buprenorphine, an opioid used to treat opioid use disorder, and venlafaxine, an anti-depressant, when she began to get drowsy.
As Gay was running water into the bathtub, she dozed off and did not awaken until her husband, Matthew Hand, ran into the bathroom. Attempts to resuscitate Daltyn ultimately failed and Daltyn died as a result of his drowning in the bathtub.
“Daltyn’s death is heartbreaking,” stated District Attorney Higgins. “Although Ms. Gay did not intend to harm Daltyn, she needed to be held responsible for the reckless behavior that caused her son’s death. It is my hope that this case will serve as a lesson to all of us that we must be vigilant and never do anything that places a child in harm’s way.”
Charges of felony murder and second-degree cruelty to children were dismissed in the case.