Crack baby’s mom booked

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 16, 2004

Monica D. Oliver,

33, of Faunsdale, was arrested Friday morning after being indicted by a Marengo County Grand Jury this week for assault I.

The indictment stems from the birth over a month ago of Oliver’s baby who is addicted to crack cocaine. The mother was taken into custody Friday at 10 a.m., said Marengo County Chief Deputy Tommie Reese.

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“This was a case that was brought to me by the Marengo County Department of Human Resources,” said district attorney Greg Griggers. “They had involvement with Ms. Oliver over an extensive period and had been notified by Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital that the child had tested positive for cocaine.

The child was born at Oliver’s home and then was taken by ambulance to the hospital. “They realized the child’s birth weight was real low,” the DA said, “which is a classic sign of being a crack baby.” Oliver had not had any prenatal care.

“The baby did test positive for cocaine.” The kind of test that was used revealed that the mother used cocaine the week before she gave birth, Griggers said.

This is the first time the DA has prosecuted such a case. He was asked by DHR to investigate the case like any other report of serious abuse or neglect, he said. “My choice was to present those facts to a Marengo County Grand Jury.”

Griggers felt he had a good cross section of people on the Grand Jury. “Do you agree with me that this was crime?” he asked the Grand Jury, and the jury agreed that there was probable cause that it was a crime.

Under the statute “she has recklessly engaged in conduct knowing that it was going to cause either a grave risk of death or that would result in very serious injury,” he said.

“…The problems of crack babies have been well documented for years.” The male child’s birth weight is down; he’s having a problem sleeping, Griggers said. The odds of additional problems are very good, he said.

Oliver has previously been charged with following misdemeanors: theft of property III in 1994 and hindering prosecution in June 1996. The theft case involved a child support check stolen from the Faunsdale Post Office and cashed in Uniontown.