Brown also plead guilty to second-degree insurance fraud for unlawfully obtaining several drug prescriptions between Oct. 2008 and Sept. 2013.
During Wednesday’s court hearing, 33-year-old Brown admitted to giving her infant son a lethal dose of Promethazine, a prescription drug she had been abusing since 2008, according to prosecutors.
“It’s a very tragic case,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia Wright, “This baby lost its life because of his mother’s serious addiction.”
Plea documents say that Brown told police her son was born dependent on Diluadid, which she had been using during her pregnancy, and he suffered from gastric problems.
On the night Hakeem Brown died, Brown said she ground up a small amount of Promethazine for him because he “was not keeping his food down and had been fussy,” and swallowed the rest.
In the early morning hours of September 18, Brown found her son unconscious and not breathing, documents say. Brown called 911 and he was taken to Children’s National Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Wright asked the court for a total sentence of four to seven years in prison for the charges, but as part of the plea agreement, Judge Leibovitz may order a shorter sentence.
Defense attorney Mathew Davis asked that Brown be released to a halfway house, arguing that the infant’s death was an isolated incident and that by pleading guilty, she has shown remorse and interest in paying her debt to society.
Judge Leibovitz denied Davis’s request and said Brown was a danger to the community.
“She has a very serious drug addiction,” said Judge Leibovitz, “one of the hardest ones to predict.”
According to prosecutors, in the months before her arrest, Brown illegally obtained some 1700 pills, including Oxycodone, Diluadid and Promethazine, and paid for them using Medicaid.
A sentencing hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on July 18.
Plea documents will be added to this post.