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Maplewood mother sentenced to 4 years probation for son’s fatal fentanyl overdose

A Maplewood mother, Queenetta McDaniel, received a sentence of four years probation on Wednesday for the 2020 fentanyl overdose death of her 3-year-old son, according to the Dakota County Attorney’s Office.

McDaniel, 36, had previously pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter on July 24, 2023. Despite the state’s request for a 41-month prison term, the court opted for probation.

Expressing disappointment with the outcome, Dakota County Attorney Kathy Keena remarked on the tragic and preventable loss of the child, attributing it to McDaniel’s negligence.

Emergency services were summoned to a West St. Paul residence on December 7, 2020, following reports of a non-responsive child. Despite efforts, the boy was declared deceased upon arrival at Children’s Hospital.

The Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office determined the cause of death to be a fentanyl overdose.

McDaniel was suspected of being under the influence of drugs, evident from her behavior at the time. Subsequent toxicology analysis of a blood sample revealed the presence of fentanyl and its metabolite, reinforcing suspicions held by law enforcement.

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