CARLSBAD, N.M. (KRQE) – A woman charged with child abuse for the overdose death of her 12-year-old grandson will be released from custody. Kellie Smith and her daughter Alexis were arrested last week after police say Alexis’ son overdosed on fentanyl.
Investigators believe the women were dealing the drug and the boy was stealing from their stash with their knowledge. At a pretrial detention hearing for Kellie on Monday, Oct. 4, prosecutors argued the overdose wasn’t an isolated incident saying it happened three times before.
However, her attorney argued she’s not a flight risk and she would only be kept in jail because of the “horrendous nature of the case”.
The judge found prosecutors did not meet their burden to keep Smith behind bars. “Miss Lewis, I want you to understand that I do find the facts of this case, as I said, horrifying. But your burden is by clear and convincing evidence you must show that no conditions of release could assure the safety of the community. And at this point, it sounds like we’ve got some conditions that would address the concerns I feel and I think the community has,” said Kathryn Sanchez.
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As part of her conditions of release, Kellie Smith will be put on an ankle monitor, must submit to searches of her home without a warrant, and not have any contact with children or witnesses in the case.
That order still needs to be finalized and she has not yet been released from jail. Alexis Smith waived her preliminary hearing.