Couple arrested after 1-year-old admitted to hospital with toxic level of meth

Stock image, St. George News

ST. GEORGE A St. George couple was arrested Friday after their one-year-old child was admitted to the hospital and a toxicology test showed high levels of methamphetamine in the child’s system.

On Friday, 27-year-old Eugene Paul Thompson Jr., was charged with one third-degree felony count of  child abuse – inflict serious injury recklessly, along with two misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance, and a class B misdemeanor count of use/possession of drug paraphernalia.

Booking photo of Eugene Paul Thompson Jr., posted Sept. 7, 2018 | Washington County, Utah | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

The baby’s mother, Shakara Christensen, 30, was charged with two third-degree felonies: one count of child abuse – inflict serious injury recklessly, and one count of possession of a controlled substance. She also was charged with a class B misdemeanor for use/possession of drug paraphernalia.

The infant was brought into the emergency room at Dixie Regional Medical Center on July 27, where ER staff reported the child was “vomiting, inconsolable, and displayed abnormal behavior,” according to the report.

After the child tested positive for amphetamine, Christensen and the baby’s grandmother both told hospital staff they did not know how the child got the drugs into his system and denied any drug use in the home.

Booking photo of Shakara M. Christensen, posted Sept. 7, 2018 | Washington County, Utah | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

The infant was admitted to the hospital and remained there for an “extended period of time” while the drugs were removed from his system.

A more comprehensive toxicology test showed high levels of the drug, the report said.

Hospital staff reported the incident to the Utah Division of Child and Family Services and advised the agency that Christensen and the infant’s grandmother “did not seem surprised” after hearing the child tested positive for the drug.

The incident was then reported to police and, during the course of the investigation, officers made several attempts to contact both Christensen and the baby’s father, but were unsuccessful.

The Washington County Drug Task Force searched the couple’s residence Sept. 6, where agents found several drug-related items, including in a bedroom where the child slept. Further, the items were found in areas “easily located while searching the bedroom,” court documents say.

Christensen told officers that she is a recovering drug addict and admitted to numerous relapses, the most recent was within days of being questioned. She said she only used drugs at a friend’s residence and denied ever using them at home.

Thompson admitted to using heroin and told officers he had been wanting to clean up the house and get rid of everything, but denied leaving any drugs in areas where the baby could have gotten into them.

According to investigators, the drugs and paraphernalia were located in areas that were easily accessible.

“While there is not enough evidence to show the child was intentionally given the drugs, there is enough evidence to show the child was allowed to access the drugs due to the parents’ reckless actions,” according to the probable cause statement filed in support of the arrest.

Police declined to comment on the investigation.

This report is based on court documents and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

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Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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12 Comments

  • Real Life September 11, 2018 at 8:22 pm

    Sterilization.

    • mesaman September 11, 2018 at 8:38 pm

      Agreed. No child should have to remain in the grasp of two habitual addicted drug users.

    • Red2Blue310 September 12, 2018 at 11:48 am

      Either or: sterilization or chain gang.

    • Striker4 September 12, 2018 at 10:59 pm

      Oh wow you posted another comment on St George news

  • Kilroywashere September 11, 2018 at 11:38 pm

    If this isn’t rock bottom for these parents I don’t know what is. Perhaps ending up on the streets in some big city and pimping your wife etc. is the next rung down into hell. So if you are reading this comment at some point, you are both sick, and that sickness is meth addiction. Either give up your child for adoption or make a lifetime commitment to overcome your disease. Your child deserves it. There is no luke warm, and likely it is too late. You need a higber power to accomplish this. Good luck, I wish you the best, but the odds are not in your favor as previous rehabilitation efforts failed according to the info provided. Lastly the fact you are codependent, both of you have to succeed, and that is against you as well. Sorry to be negative but statistics clearly show you are more than likely a lost cause. Religion is your only hope at this point. Without a higher power your WILL alone cannot do it.

  • LunchboxHero September 12, 2018 at 11:53 am

    Oh, but addiction is a *disease* and junkies need treatment, not punishment! Yeah right. Throw this human garbage away for a long time, and let this baby be cared for by people who will actually CARE for it.

  • Kilroywashere September 12, 2018 at 4:02 pm

    Lunchboxhero, addiction is a disease, and you no doubt have neighbors somewhere in your proximity whose particular kid got a sports injury, then was prescribed opiods by a local doctor for the pain, and subsequently got addicted, and ended up on the streets in some city. Your lack of compassion for human beings is evident. You do not believe in redemption or that human beings can change. You wish to punish. I feel sorry for you, as inside of the metal lunchbox (maybe plastic) there is no thermos, just an empty metal box. You’re a hero I guess in your own mind. I spent 4 hours in the desert past the airport last Friday and 3 hours searching Red Cliffs reserve two days before that looking for someone’s kid who disappeared in 2015. If you want to put water back in your thermos , and that is up to you, then maybe volunteer some time at a drug rehab where you will learn addiction is a disease. Clean up your own garbagio, and yes by your definition I am garbage too. How’s that for an ending. Perhaps this helps everybody involved.

    • LunchboxHero September 13, 2018 at 9:41 am

      “…inside of the metal lunchbox (maybe plastic) there is no thermos…” Nice metaphor! And despite your lengthy appeal, I’m still surprisingly unmoved. Actually, I’ve heard the argument for years and years about addiction being a disease, and I personally don’t buy it and just never will. You can’t just stop having cancer, or Parkinson’s. You CAN just stop doing drugs. For some people it’s difficult, but if you were stranded on an island with no drugs…boom! No more drug problem! I just have no sympathy for junkies. They destroy families, hurt everyone around them, don’t work, commit crimes, and are, in general, a huge drain on society.

  • Randys Sister September 13, 2018 at 7:29 am

    This physically makes me ill! This is absolutely repulsive! I HOPE TO GOD that sweet innocent child was taken out of their custody forever. The judicial system in Washington County is all about “reunification” of parents and children, but these parents should NOT be given this child back. If they couldn’t figure out how to be good parents in the first year of this child’s life, they don’t deserve a second chance to get it right. Drugs are a terrible thing, I feel bad for these parents that they have to fight this battle with their drug demons, but this child SHOULD NOT get caught in the cross fire of their own personal battles. Despicable and disgusting. God please bless this child and get him/her out of the “custody” of these parents.

  • Kilroywashere September 13, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    Lunchbox I respect your response, but your logic belongs to the last Century. The bottom line is addiction is a disease, and there is a biological chemical connection regarding the regulation of dopamine in the brain. Meth existed in the 70 and 80s and was not at epidemic proportions. A breakthrough study a few years back that analyzed the purity of meth sold over decades vs. addiction rates, pointed to a massive spike of addiction in the 90s. that originated specifically in the Northwest. Why? A new higher quality meth hit the streets, that gave users a massive euphoric experience and in turn was super highly addictive. Same goes for Oxycotin which is the most powerful opiod ever manufactured on the planet making Heroin seem bland. Not all people come from perfect homes, some experience abuse, poverty, and,other factors growing up that can lead to the decision to use drugs at some point in their life. Back in your Century of thinking, in the 50s and 60s alcoholism was rampant. Is alcoholism a disease? Are alcoholics pieces of garbage? Lastly in this specific case there was NO INTENT on their part, it was an accident. It could have been snail bait or comet cleanser left on the counter let alone meth. Yes I agree- obvious parental neglect, but child abuse? – Not in my opinion. Should they lose custody of their kid? Yes. But does it deserve to be permanent? Not if they can recover from their drug addictions and prove they can be competent parents again. The likelihood of this happening from a probability standpoint is not in their favor, but you can’t rule it out.

    • Chris September 13, 2018 at 1:57 pm

      “Oxycotin which is the most powerful opiod ever manufactured on the planet”
      Aside from the obvious misspelling of Oxycontin and opioid, you are wrong. Fentanyl is the most powerful opioid.

  • Kilroywashere September 13, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    Gee Chris, you are 100% correct, fentanol, oops, did I not autocorrect that, oh so sorry, is more powerful than Oxy. Yup . You got me!!!! I guess I should do my duo diligence on the fine details. I will have to rewatch the Hamilton Morris / Joe Rogan interview again. Shame on me. Wait a second Chris, we forgot to consider Carfentanil (I think that is spelled correctly) which is a 100x more potent then Phentanal, and,10000x more potent than morfeene. Guess we’re all bozos on this bus LOL. Any further points to make? How about the topic of burning witches in tbe late middle ages? Seems relevant according to youre standards of rhetoric.

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