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‘You brought the evil into his house,’ judge says in sentencing for mom and boyfriend in toddler’s death

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CLEVELAND, Ohio - Tessa Gadd was sentenced Tuesday on charges in connection with her son's overdose death.

The two-year-old died after taking Suboxone in March of 2018.

According to court documents, Gadd’s boyfriend, John Hines, Jr. took the drugs to her home.

Suboxone is a medication prescribed to heroin addicts to help with their addiction.

The toddler had a high dosage of cough medicine and Benadryl in his system, along with indications of prior cocaine ingestion.

Gadd pleaded guilty last month to involuntary manslaughter and endangering children.

"I'm truly sorry for what happened to my child," Gadd said in court.

"Lorenzo needed you more than anybody else in the world. You were there to protect him, care for him, keep him away from all the evils in the world. You brought the evil into his house," Judge Michael Shaughnessy responded.

She was sentenced to four years in prison with credit for her time served.

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Hines was also sentenced Tuesday.

He previously entered a guilty plea on charges of endangering children and involuntary manslaughter.

Hines did not speak during the sentencing.

"You're a big strong guy. You should have been protecting that kid," Judge Shaughnessy said before the sentence.

"Nobody has spoken up for Lorenzo. What a tragedy...this court will speak for Lorenzo."

The judge sentenced Hines to four years with credit for time served.

Continuing coverage here.

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