An East Bay woman was charged with murder in the death of her 2-year-old son after the toddler consumed fentanyl that was in her possession, authorities said Thursday.
Genesis Barrera-Galdamez, of Brentwood, was also charged with felony child abuse and felony possession of fentanyl to sell, and faces charging enhancements of willful harm causing injury and great bodily injury resulting in brain damage and paralysis, Contra Costa County prosecutors said.
An autopsy report for the boy, Jasani Kerry, Jr., found that his death was caused by acute fentanyl toxicity. Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid used for pain relief, has been blamed for this year’s alarming spike in San Francisco overdoses, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Derek Butts, homicide unit supervisor for the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office, said that while Barrera-Galdamez, 22, didn’t intend for her son to die, evidence showed she was aware the fentanyl was dangerous and exposed Jasani to it anyway.
It wasn’t immediately known if Barrera-Galdamez has an attorney who can speak on her behalf.
The boy’s death came almost exactly one year after another, similar tragedy in Santa Rosa, when fentanyl overdoses killed 29-year-old Patrick O’Neill and his 13-month-old son, Liam. Federal prosecutors charged three people with distribution of fentanyl in relation to the deaths, and linked the drugs to a network of dealers in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood.