Hazlehurst mother sentenced for death in bathtub of her 10-month-old son

JEFF DAVIS COUNTY, Ga. (WSAV) — A mother pleaded guilty Wednesday to causing the death of her 10-month-old son in 2020.

Jessica Lynn Gay, 25, was sentenced to serve the maximum possible sentence of 10 years in prison for manslaughter.

Officials say that on June 6, 2020, Gay was bathing his 10-month-old son, Daltyn Hand, at his residence in Hazlehurst.

The mother was reportedly under the influence of buprenorphine, an opioid used to treat opioid use disorder, and venlafaxine, an antidepressant, when she began to become drowsy.

As Gay ran water in the tub, she dozed off and only woke up when her husband, Matthew Hand, ran into the bathroom. Attempts to resuscitate Daltyn ultimately failed, and Daltyn died from drowning in the bathtub.

“Daltyn’s death is heartbreaking,” District Attorney Higgins said. “Although Mrs. Gay had no intention of harming Daltyn, she should be held responsible for the reckless behavior which caused her son’s death. I hope this case serves as a lesson to all of us that we must be vigilant and never do anything that puts a child in danger.

Charges of murder and second-degree child cruelty were dismissed in the case.


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