Mother of 9-year-old deadly overdose victim gets probation - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Mother of 9-year-old deadly overdose victim gets probation

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

The mother of a nine-year-old boy who overdosed on cocaine last year will not go to prison. 

40-year old Raenell Allen was sentenced to five years probation by a Mahoning County Court Judge. 

Allen pleaded guilty in October to endangering children.

According to the Mahoning County Coroner's Office, Marcus Lee Jr., died of acute cocaine toxicity the day after Christmas last year. 

The child, who was a fourth grader at McGuffey Elementary School, died at Akron Children's Hospital in Boardman after being rushed by ambulance from his mother's Midland Avenue home.

Investigators say that the child ingested an equivalent of 27 doses of cocaine that was left at the home within the child's reach.

Before her sentence was handed down, Allen was able to make some final statements to the judge. 

Assistant Mahoning County Prosecutor Dawn Cantalamessa says the mother claims that Lee suffered from a condition known as Pica, which the CDC says is the craving to eat nonfood items, such as dirt, paint chips, and clay.

"My son was autistic, I knew how bad his PICA was. I had him involved with specialists and everything," Allen said. "I would never have anything like that around my child." 

However, Judge Krichbaum responded, "I have to tell you when you were talking- I think remorse in the courtroom is overrated because it can be put on. I don't think she has much remorse from what I've seen. It's just kind of matter of fact."

"You don't think I'm hurt about the loss of my child," Allen shot back. 

"I don't know. I don't know you from Adam," said Judge Krichbaum. "I'm sitting here trying to judge you.That's my job. I read everything they say about you. I listen to what the lawyers say about you. I know your son died. You knew he had this problem and he died because he ingested something he shouldn't have ingested. And it's because you had a guy who was obviously using, and/or dealing drugs, in your house. That's what I know." 

Allen's boyfriend at the time, 38-year-old Kevin Gamble previously pleaded guilty to child endangering and involuntary manslaughter. He was sentenced last week to four and a half years in prison. 

The sentence, five years of probation, was agreed upon by the prosecutors and Allen's attorney, under the condition that she testify against Gamble. 

While handing down the recommended probation ruling, Judge Krichbaum said that he has hope that Allen will never be involved in anything similar or violate the terms of her probation, because of the tragedy she suffered. 

However, Judge Krichbaum went on to say, "If you do violate it, then I would put you in the penitentiary for as long as I possibly could." 

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