Court Documents: Mom's Cocaine Use Caused Baby's Death

December 19, 2013

A woman was arrested early Thursday morning and faces a felony drug charge, and authorities say her drug use had devastating consequences for her unborn child.

However, the woman won't face any charges in her child's death.

Police arrested 24-year-old Garan Lea Drymond around 1:30 a.m. Thursday and charged her with possession of cocaine.

"These were some serious allegations and a serious situation," said Joe Platania, Charlottesville's assistant commonwealth's attorney. "Ms. Drymond is at this point presumed innocent. She's been indicted for possession of cocaine, which is a felony."

Documents obtained exclusively by the Newsplex show an investigation into the child's death that began at the Days Inn on Emmet Street in May.

Court documents say on May 2, rescue crews found Drymond at the hotel. The documents say she told responders she'd been smoking cocaine and drinking for the past few days.

She was taken to the University of Virginia Medical Center, where her child was born lifeless despite doctors' efforts to resuscitate him for 37 minutes.

"We very quickly started working with the investigations division of the Charlottesville Police Department and it's been a pretty steady investigation process," Platania said.

Drymond's first court appearance was Thursday afternoon. She appeared from the regional jail via video conference, and the hearing only lasted a few minutes. She requested a court-appointed attorney to represent her.

Pictures from Facebook show Drymond at her child's grave. An autopsy conducted over the summer names the cause of death of baby Julian Robert Funes as acute cocaine and ethanol toxicity. The manner of death is listed as homicide.

However, prosecutors can't pursue that homicide charge.

"There have been some legislative attempts to criminalize conduct of a mother that harms her fetus," Platania said, but none have passed.

Defense attorney Scott Goodman, who has no connection with the case, said it could be a different story if the baby were born with a heartbeat. Since the baby was a stillborn, there is no law that allows prosecutors to charge the mother in her unborn child's death.

"Prior to birth, when there cannot be or there was not independent life separate from the mother's life, the mother cannot be charged with a murder charge," Goodman said. "It could very well take a battle of experts to determine whether or not that particular fetus, that child, could have had a life independent of the life of the mother."

Drymond is being held without bond. Her next court appearance is in February.

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