A Michigan mother whose baby boy died after overdosing on antidepressant pills wept and shared her remorse as he was sentenced to prison Wednesday.
Hope Marshall, 27, will serve at least 18 months in prison for the June 2022 death of 17-month-old Kaiden Wood, who died inside their Kentwood home.
‘I am a mother full of guilt, shame, regret and pain. A mother’s worst nightmare is losing a child but what do you do when your own actions are to blame?’ she said.
When police first arrived at the home for a call of an unresponsive child, they found items including a soup bowl filled with vomit, a marijuana pipe and Xanax.
Kaiden’s father, Kyle Wood, pleaded guilty in March to second-degree child abuse and was sentenced to at least 30 months in prison for the boy’s death.
Hope Marshall (pictured) wept as she was jailed for the death of her young son, Kaiden Wood, who died of an overdose of antidepressants
Kaiden (pictured) overdosed on antidepressants lying around the house
In court Wednesday, Marshall said he had ‘failed’ his son and his brothers.
‘Kaiden is my world and I failed him so badly. I let my drug addiction destroy my precious son’s life and the lives of my two other sons,’ the woman said.
When investigators searched the home in the 400 block of Prince Albert St. SE, they found the residence in general disarray, according to initial reports.
Detectives also found several items of concern including three loose Wellbutrin pills in the living room and Xanax on the kitchen counter.
Both drugs are commonly used as antidepressants.
At the time, Marshall told police the Wellbutrin was his and allegedly told police ‘he takes three (of Wellbutrin) every morning with his coffee.’
There was a broken acetaminophen pill on the hallway floor, 13 ABC reported, as well as a vape pen inside Kaiden’s crib.
Marshall told police he last saw Kaiden around 8 a.m. on June 23 after feeding him some Cheerios and then putting him in his crib.
Two hours later, she found him ‘cold and blue’ in his bed. He carried her to the living room floor where first responders eventually found her upon arrival.
A report from the Kent County Medical Examiner’s Office indicated that paramedics attempted resuscitation but were unable to because his jaw was already too stiff.
‘By the time EMS arrived he was in complete rigor mortis. He was pronounced dead at 10:25 a.m. on 6/23/22,’ an ME office investigator wrote.
Marshall (pictured in a mug shot) told police the Wellbutrin her son took was hers
When police returned to the scene in August 2022, they discovered open needles and another vape pen stuck in a mattress in a coffee table drawer.
In court Wednesday, the mother told the judge she hopes to use her time in prison and turn her life around after the tragic mistake.
‘I hope you can see how badly I want to change my life and how sorry I am for my actions and how much I reflect on them,’ said Marshall.
‘I just want help and it’s sad to know that I’ve lost my son,’ Marshall told Judge Paul Denenfeld.
As part of a plea deal, Marshall pleaded guilty to second-degree child abuse and the involuntary manslaughter charge was dropped.
In sentencing the mother, Denenfield said she found in three cases where the children overdosed on pills and drugs that were left behind by the parents.
“Parents want to sit down and use drugs, whether it’s legal or illegal, I think that’s their own choice,” the judge said.
‘Children don’t make a choice to be tempted by things that children would normally reach for and try to eat,’ Denenfeld said before sentencing Marshall.
‘I hope you can see how badly I want to change my life and how sorry I am for my actions and how much I’ve reflected on them,’ said Marshall (pictured).
Kaiden’s father, Kyle Wood (pictured), pleaded guilty in March to second-degree child abuse and was sentenced to at least 30 months in prison for the boy’s death.
‘Parents want to sit around and use drugs, whether it’s legal or illegal, I think that’s their own choice,’ Judge Paul Denenfeld (pictured) told the court on Wednesday.
Like Marshall, Kaiden’s father made similar comments earlier this year while addressing a court as he was charged in the death of his one-year-old son.
‘I realized I made a mistake that day,’ Wood said in March.
‘And I admit that I must stop. And unfortunately, I lost one of my sons doing it,’ said the father.
‘I just want to say, not even to the court, but to my son, that I’m sorry,’ Kyle said.
He was sentenced to a minimum of 30 months and a maximum of 10 years in prison.