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US dad convicted for baby's drug death

03 July 2013, 14:50

Philadelphia — A US man has been convicted of third-degree murder after putting heroin and methadone in his baby's bottle. The baby was found unresponsive in a vomit-strewn bassinet.

Orlando Rosado didn't testify at Tuesday's trial. His lawyer says Rosado accidentally put the drugs in baby Christopher's bottle during a heroin relapse.

A prosecutor says Rosado did so deliberately to calm the fussy boy, who died days before his first birthday in May 2012.

The judge said she convicted the 46-year-old Rosado in part because of his changing police statements. At one point, he tried to blame his 5-year-old daughter.

In one police statement, Rosado called his son "his heart and soul".

He faces a potential 20- to 40-year term at his sentencing in August.

Suicide attempt

Rosado and the baby's mother were both in daily methadone programmes to treat their heroin addiction. The mother, Crystal Miller, said she thought Rosado had been clean since the 2006 birth of their daughter.

But a friend who took Rosado to a methadone clinic every day said he knew he had relapsed. The friend said Rosado was good with the baby and was "hysterical" on the morning that he ran out to the friend's car carrying his son.

Tests found evidence of heroin and methadone in the remaining liquid in the baby bottle, which was found on a coffee table.

Miller testified that Rosado handled nighttime feedings while she slept, and that she did not mix the formula or prepare the bottles in advance. She said she broke off her relationship with Rosado after Christopher's death, in part because she could not get a straight answer from him about what happened.

Rosado, who has been treated for bipolar disorder, tried to kill himself after the boy's death.

- AP

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