Parents charged with murder after infant son exposed to meth

BLYTHEVILLE, Ark. — A 4-month-old is dead, and his parents are charged with his murder.

Blytheville Police ruled the infant's death a homicide after an autopsy determined he was exposed to meth, and now both parents are charged with second degree murder.

Johnny and Christina Richard are already serving parole and probation with more jail time on the way.

"What's sad about that is, the people that probably did that shouldn't have had a child cause they were not responsible enough to look after him and keep him away from the drugs," said Elizabeth Williams.

Police say this all happened back in August when the couple took their 4-month-old to the emergency room at Great River Medical, but the infant was already dead.

Turning Point Director of Operations Stacey Dodd tells me when people consume meth, they forget about reality.

“They forget about the people they love, they forget about their children, they forget about their responsibilities," said Dodd. "The chemicals do that to them."

It's not known how the child was exposed to meth, if he swallowed some or if it was the mere fumes from the toxic brew that killed him.

"Whenever they're cooking meth, the chemicals themselves are deadly," said Dodd. "Breathing them is deadly, ingesting them is deadly."

"A child could be killed instantly if they ingested the chemicals used to manufacture meth," said Dodd.

Gary Sprouse, a foster parent to a 3-year-old, said the child's mom is on drugs and he took the toddler in this summer.
He says he's not quick to judge and has compassion for the infant's parents.

"I do think they ought to be punished for sure but I think we should do a little more to try to help the situation, get them some help, spend some time with them and figure out what's causing them to think that way," said Sprouse. "It's unfortunate."

Bond is set at $200,000 cash for both parents.