Mom admits being high as 2-year-old girl died in car
SALEM — A woman whose daughter died in her car while she was high has pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter.
Two-year-old Kayley Joseph was found by her father in her baby seat, in the front seat of her mother Deanna Joseph’s white Mercedes, authorities have said. The car was parked in the driveway of her Alloway Township home last August, with the engine running and the heat on, police said. Deanna Joseph was behind the wheel passed out, and later admitted to using drugs, polic esaid.
Deanna Joseph also pleaded guilty Monday to child endangerment and drug and weapons charges. The 39-year-old faces up to 15 years in prison when she's sentenced in March.
An autopsy determined Kayley died of positional asphyxia, a condition in which a person's breathing is obstructed because of the way his or her body is positioned.
In complaints cited by NJ.com during the investigation, Salem County Prosecutor John T. Lenahan Deanna Joseph said Kayley may have injured herself with a seat belt.
Prosecutors also charged Joseph with having crack cocaine in her purse and a defaced Sterling Arms Mark II .380 caliber gun in the trunk of her car.
Deanna Joseph had been arrested at least three times in the past for allegedly being under the influence as her children were unattended, and has faced several other drug charges over several years, according to several reports from the times of those incident
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report