A husband and wife have pleaded guilty to one charge of child endangerment after cocaine was found in their baby’s system.
Somchai and Krystin Rae Lisaius accepted responsibility on Wednesday, Aug. 31.
“You both agree that your behavior was reckless by using cocaine and then knowingly—you, of course, Ms. Lisaius—breastfeeding the child the next morning, that constituted endangering the child, recklessly endangering her?” asked Pima County Superior Court Judge Howard Fell, reported Tuscan News Now.
The two were each originally indicted on three felony charges: possession of a dangerous drug, drug paraphernalia, and child abuse. However, those charges were dropped under the plea deal.
According to a police report, on the morning of May 15 the Lisaiuses took their 4-month-old daughter to Oro Valley Hospital after they found their baby was “lethargic and not eating normally.”
After several refusals from the couple to have their baby’s blood drawn, blood tests revealed that the child had cocaine in her system. Krystin admitted to a social worker that she breastfed her baby after “snorting” cocaine the night before and was under the impression that the 12 hours lapsed time wouldn’t affect her daughter.
A search of the marital home revealed two grams cocaine and a small black digital scale and other suspected drug paraphernalia.
The couple lost custody of their daughter and she is now in the care of her maternal grandmother.
The Lisaiuses’ attorney, Mike Piccarreta, said his clients have made positive strides to regain custody of their daughter.
“They’ve been going through regular drug testing. They’ve been going through parenting classes. They have gone through counseling. … Anytime anyone even hints they want something done, they step up and do it,” Piccarreta said.
Piccarreta said he hopes for probation for the pair and views this incident as something others can learn positively from,
“It is a lesson for all parents that if you use any substance—alcohol, prescription substances, illegal substances—that you do not breastfeed your child and do not assume that things go out of your system immediately. Even if you do not feel the effects, (the effects) linger and it could cause harm for the person you love more than anything,” Piccarreta said.
Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 3 at 9 a.m.
Somchai is a former crime reporter for KOLD News 13, and Krystin is a former KGUN 9 reporter.