Mother of boy who fatally overdosed on cocaine avoids jail time

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The mother of a 9-year-old Ohio boy who fatally overdosed on cocaine has received probation instead of prison.

The sentencing Tuesday for 38-year-old Raenell Allen, of Youngstown, on a child endangering charge comes days after her boyfriend, 38-year-old Kevin Gamble, received 4 ½ years in prison for the death last December of 9-year-old Marcus Lee.

Prosecutors and a defense attorney recommended the sentence as part of a plea deal after Allen agreed to testify against Gamble, if needed.

Gamble pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and child endangering in October.

Prosecutors say the cocaine belonged to Gamble, but it remains unclear how Marcus got access to the drugs. Allen told prosecutors that Marcus was autistic and would sometimes put things into his mouth.

WKBN.com reports the boy had more than two dozen doses of cocaine in his system. He died the day after Christmas last year.

Allen’s attorney couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.

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