Humboldt Mother Faces Trial in Meth-Laced Pregnancy, Breast Milk Death

A Humboldt County judge has ordered a 26-year-old Loleta woman to stand trial for the November 21, 2010 death of her 6-week-old son.

Superior Court Judge Marilyn Miles ruled that prosecutors had sufficient evidence to charge Maggie Jean Wortman with manslaughter and child endangerment. The Times-Standard in Eureka reported that Deputy District Attorney Ben McLaughlin is considering filing an additional charge of either voluntary manslaughter or second-degree murder.

Authorities allege the infant, Michael Acosta III, died of methamphetamine toxicity after being exposed both in utero and through contaminated breast milk, the Associated Press reported. Toxicology screenings ordered after his death came back positive for meth, prompting authorities to test Wortman’s 19-month-old daughter. She, too, tested positive, resulting in her placement in protective custody.

Wortman allegedly tested positive for methamphetamine once while pregnant with Michael and has reportedly confessed to using the drug during her pregnancy and after his birth, the Times Standard reported. While out on bail, she again tested positive for methamphetamine use and is now being held without bail in the Humboldt County jail.

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