1-year-old survives overdose; mother charged in Madison County


Janelle Norman

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UPDATE (May 30, 2019)– Janelle Norman was sentenced to two years at Community Corrections and two years of probation.

Original story:

MADISON COUNTY, Ind. – A Madison County mother is facing time behind bars after investigators say her 1-year-old child was saved from an overdose on Suboxone.

Janelle Norman, 24, is charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in serious injury. The incident happened in August, but charges were filed and she was booked into the Madison County Jail this week.

“This child’s very fortunate to be alive,” said Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings.

According to court documents, police were called to the hospital in reference to the baby overdosing. Two doses of Narcan were administered. The baby lived.

According to court documents, Norman told police she found a partially dissolved orange pill in the child’s mouth, removed it and took her to the hospital emergency room, all within a span of about 25 minutes. Norman denied having Suboxone or orange-colored pills in the apartment.

According to court documents, two other people contradicted Norman’s version of events, including one who said the pills were that of the mother’s boyfriend.

“She didn’t really want to take her daughter to the hospital until about an hour or two later,” neighbor Kelsey Hunt said.

Hunt said she saw the aftermath.

“Like pretty much couldn’t walk or talk and just kind of falling over like wanting to pass out and go to sleep,” Hunt said.

“It happens far too often in this community and sadly it’s not the first time,” Cummings said.

Cummings said earlier this year, a 6-month-old baby died from a heroin overdose.

“It’s just too many drugs and too many children and too many irresponsible parents,” he said.

Cummings said there needs to be tougher penalties for drug dealers and more resources for treatment.

“In our community low income people do not have resources to treatment and it’s absolutely essential,” he said.

The prosecutor’s office said so far this year 30 people have been charged with neglect of a dependent in Madison County.

“If you see young kids out by themselves, keep an eye on what’s going on and if you see anything unusual call the police,” Cummings said.

Nine children have died from neglect or abuse in Madison County this year.

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