Mom Gets Up to 15 Years in Prison for Putting Methadone in Sippy Cup

A Utah mom could spend as little as one year -- or as many as 15 -- behind bars for accidentally killing her 2-year-old son in January by filling his sippy cup with prescription Methadone instead of Gatorade.

Jill Goff, 33, poured the pain reliever, which is often used to reduce withdrawal symptoms in people who are trying to kick drug addictions, into a sports drink bottle at her home and then says she forgot all about it. When she went to pour some Gatorade into little Aiden's cup a short time later, she took the liquid from the sports bottle, not realizing it was the narcotic. He had a terrible reaction to it, and she says she forced him to vomit.

But what this mom did next was highly questionable.

Aiden didn't like the taste of the drink, according to a police statement, so Goff had her older children -- ages 5 and 8 -- sample it. When her toddler began to feel ill, she helped him vomit and then put him down for a nap. Instead of calling 911 or taking her kids to the hospital, apparently she then took a nap herself.

Goff called for help after she realized the child was not breathing. Emergency responders were unable to resuscitate Aiden, and he died at his home. His older siblings were treated at a hospital for Methadone ingestion but are okay.

This mom's decision not to call for help immediately is definitely a careless one, but I'm not sure it indicates that this was still anything more than a horrific accident. It isn't clear at what point Goff realized her children had swallowed the drug instead of Gatorade.

She pleaded guilty to second-degree felony child abuse and was given a sentence of 1 to 15 years at the Utah State Prison.

Neither the prosecutor nor the defense attorney pushed the judge to send this mom to jail, insisting it was an accident. Chief Deputy Tooele County Attorney Gary Searle said anything lengthier than one year spent in jail was "not going to bring her child back" and that it wasn't going to serve any purpose other than satisfying the "lust for vengeance."

I want to be angry at this mom for being so irresponsible, but I can't help but feel compassion for her. We don't know the details of her life and whether her prescription Methadone was being used to help with an addiction, but assuming it was, she was at least trying to get her life back on track -- which is commendable. I'm sad for her and feel heartbroken for her other children.

Goff's attorney says the mom suffered from depression after her son's death and that she has accepted responsibility for her actions.

Do you think this mom's sentence is fair?

 

Image via Randy Robertson/Flickr

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Jeana... JeanaJaybird

This is despicable. What kind of mother would allow this to happen? Who in their right mind would see their baby negatively reacting to a beverage and call for their other children to sample it and make sure it's OK? How messed up was this woman to forget that she had put drugs in the cup in the first place? So she didn't remember what she had done until after she drugged her other children, too? Sounds to me like this p.o.s. wanted to take a nap and wanted the baby to as well .. any real mother would have called for help immediately if such an accident really did occur. Her story makes me want to punch her in the gut. Rip to the poor baby.

nonmember avatar AwesomeMom3

She helpd him vomit ? I feel she knew at that time. Why have the kids taste it? She could have tasted it. You should never put a drug in the fridge so someone else could end up drinking it, especially with kids around and in a drink !!!

nonmember avatar AwesomeMom3

She helpd him vomit ? I feel she knew at that time. Why have the kids taste it? She could have tasted it. You should never put a drug in the fridge so someone else could end up drinking it, especially with kids around and in a drink !!!

youth... youthfulsoul

Uh ya something here doesn't add up. Maybe she was on drugs herself.

Aweso... AwesomeMom3

Helped him vomit? Had the other two kids taste it? Why wouldn't she just taste it? Drugs shouldn't be put in the fridge anyway especially with kids around, and mixed in something they may drink! Certainly don't sound right to me and there is no way u can make it right!! She deserves the time and then some! So sad for the baby. :(

Aweso... AwesomeMom3

Ugh sorry. It did post. ALOT!

meskew88 meskew88

15 years is b.s. this doesnt sound like an accident

Lax5 Lax5

Why put it in a sports bottle? Especially with kids in the house! Was she charged for endangerment for her older kids? This just doesn't add up for me. You forgot and are now feeding your 2 yr old methadone?? No sorry she deserves at least the 15, but sadly in this country it seems like the majority of women who kill their child get a lighter sentence than she would have gotten for buying/selling the drug! ZERO tolerance!!

sterl... sterling21

Why was she allowed to have methadone in her home? Usually its dispensed every day at a clinic, because drug users can overdose on it and do if they have free access to it. Ridiculous that she would be that irresponsible.

Cari Poissant

Disgusting. She wasnt trying to get herself better she was trying to kill her kids.

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