BANGOR – The lawyer for a Winterport man charged in connection to the drug overdose death of his 1-year-old daughter says there is a report that clears his client.
Shane Smith, 31, is at Penobscot County Jail for violating his bail on the charge of endangering the welfare of a child. The original charge stems from the death of his daughter, Jordynn, on Oct. 19, 2018.
Smith’s attorney said Wednesday that in preparing for trial, the Penobscot County District Attorney’s office hired a drug expert who issued a report after reviewing the toddler’s autopsy and police reports.
“She concluded that baby Jordynn was exposed to opiates, most likely Fentanyl or heroin, outside of the time frame of when my client was around baby Jordynn,” said Zachary Smith, a Bangor attorney representing Smith.
He added later, “I believe it’s pretty strong evidence to exonerate my client.”
Shane Smith told investigators that his child’s mother, Kim Nelligan, rubbed her empty heroin baggies on the inside of their daughter’s cheek, in an attempt to help her sleep.
The medical examiner determined the baby girl overdosed on the powerful synthetic pain killer Fentanyl, a drug that can be up to 100 times stronger than morphine that drug dealers are known to mix with heroin.
Nelligan also is facing a charge of endangering the welfare of a child and possession of drugs in connection with her daughter’s death. She has pleaded not guilty to both charges.
Nelligan was scheduled for a dispositional conference on Wednesday but that was continued by her attorney.
“On December 10th, his next court day, I’m going to ask the prosecution to dismiss,” said attorney Smith.
Jordynn’s parents both face less than a year in jail, if convicted of the child endangerment charge against them.
Penobscot County District Attorney Marianne Lynch and Assistant DA Suzanne Russell say a bill will go before the legislature in Augusta to add more teeth to the current law by making the crime a felony.