Prosecutor: Area Woman Pleads Guilty to Toddler’s Fatal Heroin/Fentanyl Overdose

An area woman has pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter in the death of her 2-year-old son due to a drug overdose in January, Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced on Thursday.  

Quanique Smith, 26, yesterday pleaded guilty to a single count of second-degree aggravated manslaughter.

Shortly after 1 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 5, members of the Asbury Park Police Department responded to an apartment unit on the 100 block of Langford Street on a report of an unresponsive child. There, they found the toddler, who was rushed to a local hospital. Despite lifesaving efforts, he was pronounced dead shortly before 2 a.m.  

An investigation led by Detective Stephen Cavendish of the Prosecutor’s Office’s Major Crimes Bureau and Detective Anthony Houlis of the Asbury Park Police Department determined that heroin and fentanyl belonging to Smith had been left in the family’s home and within reach of the 2-year-old and his 5-year-old sibling. The 2-year-old ingested the drugs which caused his death. Smith was arrested later on the same day and transported to the Monmouth County Correctional Institution (MCCI) before being indicted in late March.  

Sentencing in the case has been scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 7, at which time Smith is expected to face a term of eight years in state prison, with 85 percent of the term to be served prior to the possibility of parole under the provisions of New Jersey’s No Early Release Act (NERA). The sentencing hearing is scheduled to take place before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Marc C. Lemieux.

— Edited press release from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office