Mom, great-grandmother plead guilty in baby’s overdose death

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Cierra Mackey (right) and Ida Howard. (Photos courtesy Cuyahoga County Jail)

LYNDHUSRT, Ohio- The mother and great-grandmother of a 15-month-old who died of a drug overdose pleaded guilty to the young girl’s death.

On Feb. 22, Lyndhurst police were called to a house on Delevan Drive for a baby who was not breathing. The child, 15-month-old Riley Mackey, was taken to Hillcrest Hospital, where the staff was unable to revive her.

According to the police report, the girl was in the care of her great-grandmother, Ida Howard. Howard told police she gave the baby a bottle of soy milk before bed and that nothing seemed unusual.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office later ruled Riley Mackey died of acute oxycodone intoxication. Police did not say where the child got access to the narcotic painkiller.

Officers removed baby bottles, soy milk and an open container of pediatric electrolyte from the home.

On Tuesday, Howard, 74, pleaded guilty to negligent homicide. Court officials said the first-degree misdemeanor carried up to six months in jail. The child’s mother, 22-year-old Cierra Mackey, of Cleveland Heights, pleaded guilty to endangering children and faces up to five years in prison.

Howard and Mackey will be sentenced on Dec. 22.

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