Stepdad charged with manslaughter after 8-year-old boy died of fentanyl overdose

Friday, April 12, 2024
 – An 8-year-old Kentucky boy believed to have died from an allergic reaction to strawberries last month was actually killed by fentanyl with his stepdad now facing criminal charges in his overdose death.

Elementary school student,  Trey Harris died last month of “fentanyl intoxication,” officials announced as his 33-year-old stepfather Antonio Person was charged with manslaughter on Wednesday, according to WFIE.

Person and Harris were living under the same roof and it was determined that Person had drugs inside the home, according to a Madisonville police report.

But questions about how the child ingested the deadly opioid remain.

“It has been confirmed that the child’s death was due to a fentanyl overdose. It is still not confirmed as to whether that was intentional or accidental,” officer Brandon Holeman said, according to the station.

“That investigation is still ongoing. So we don’t know whether he ingested it intentionally, accidentally, how he came in contact with it so that is something we are still looking it.”

When the youngster developed a rash after eating a batch of strawberries at a high school fundraiser, his family gave him Benadryl and soaked him in a bath before seeking medical treatment on the night of March 14, Madisonville police said.

The boy’s family brought Harris home from the hospital around 1:30 a.m. the next day and then changed his clothes and put him to bed.

When they tried to wake him up for school hours later, he was unresponsive and later declared dead, police said.

After it was suspected Harris died from the fruit, the Hopkins County health department issued an advisory to toss strawberries purchased at the event, but the federal Food and Drug Administration said this week they were harmless.

Person, who was identified as the boy’s stepfather in an obituary, was slapped with a manslaughter charge  on Wednesday after he was arrested last month on drug trafficking and illegal gun possession charges, police said.

Harris was remembered as a “fun-loving child who adored playing pranks on his mom especially and laughing,” according to his obituary.

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