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Grand jury indicts Hagerstown woman in infant's drowning death

Taria Michelle King faces a charge of manslaughter, charges of reckless endangerment and neglect of a child

October 23, 2012|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com

A Hagerstown woman has been indicted by a Washington County grand jury on a charge of manslaughter in the drowning death of her infant son earlier this year, according to Circuit Court records.

Taria Michelle King, 27, of 309 E. Ridge Drive, also was indicted last week on charges of reckless endangerment and neglect of a child in the death of 7-month-old Ronald Oliver Jr. on March 7, court records said.

When ambulance personnel arrived at King’s home that day, Oliver was lying on his back on the bathroom floor and was immediately taken to Meritus Medical Center, according to the incident report from the Hagerstown Police Department.

At the hospital, King told a paramedic that she had left the infant in an infant bathtub that was inside the house’s regular tub, the report said. King told the paramedic she “left the bathroom for an undetermined amount of time. When she returned, the victim infant was face down in the bathtub,” the report said.

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When interviewed by investigators, King told them she put her two sons, the other a toddler, into the bathtub, the report said. The older child would usually play with toys in the tub, the report said.

There were about four inches of water in the tub when a detective arrived that night, the report said.

King told investigators that after putting her children in the tub she took a pill, went into her room and fell asleep, the report said.

She was awakened by the screaming of her older child and went to the bathroom where she found Ronald Oliver face-down in the water, the report said.

Two days later, police searched the house and seized half a dozen medications prescribed to King, as well as some other medications, the report said.

King is scheduled to make her initial appearance in circuit court on Dec. 4.

Manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, according to Maryland law.

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