Virginia parents sentenced to 20 years after infant daughter dies of heroin, cocaine overdose

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DANVILLE, Va. (WFXR) — A mother and father in Danville were each sentenced to 20 years in prison on Wednesday after pleading guilty to the fatal drug overdose of their infant daughter in November 2018.

The Danville Police Department dispatched officers to Maple Grove Avenue in November 2018 for an unresponsive infant. Upon arriving, officers reportedly found Eugene Drewey Chandler, Jr. holding his two-month-old daughter, Marleigh Chandler.

Officers attempted CPR before transporting Marleigh to SOVAH Health, but she passed away at the hospital due to “acute heroin and cocaine intoxication in a setting of co-sleeping,” according to autopsy results.

Chandler, 27, and Shaleigh Marie Brumfield, 26, were both indicted by a grand jury for felony homicide and child abuse and neglect on June 24, 2019 and arrested on June 25, 2019, seven months after baby Marleigh’s death.

Danville Police say there were no obvious signs of trauma, which meant they had to wait on the toxicology results in order to determine Marleigh’s cause of death.

“Those results, it’s not like television. They take time,” Lieutenant Richard Chivvis told WFXR after the couple’s arrests in June 2019. “It’s a lot of work with the autopsy with the medical examiner and then after that’s done, a lot of work with the commonwealth attorney’s office for them to ultimately determine a charging decision.”

(Photos: Courtesy Danville Police Department)
(Photos: Courtesy Danville Police Department)

On Wednesday, Feb. 12, Chandler and Brumfield pleaded guilty to second degree murder, child abuse and neglect, and two counts of distribution of Schedule I or Schedule II drugs, court officials say.

According to online records for Danville Circuit Court, the parents were each sentenced to 30 years with 14 suspended for the murder charge, 10 years with eight suspended for the child abuse charge, and 20 years with 18 suspended for the two counts of drug charges. In total, Chandler and Brumfield will reportedly spend 20 years in jail and five years under supervised probation after their release.

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