CARLSBAD, N.M. (KRQE) –  Alexis Smith, the mother charged in the fentanyl overdose and death of her 12-year-old son Brent Sullivan, faced a jury Tuesday. Alexis Smith, and her mother, Kelli Smith, are facing child abuse charges resulting in death.

In Tuesday’s opening arguments, prosecutors argued the case is about parenting.

“Ms. Smith knew that she, herself, had a drug problem. You’re going to hear that she knew her child, Brent Sullivan, was using her drugs,” said Prosecuting Attorney Megan Kirtley.

The State presented its argument on why Smith should be found guilty of intentional child abuse resulting in death. In September of 2021, first responders rushed to a Carlsbad shed where 12-year-old Brent Sullivan was found unresponsive after overdosing on fentanyl.

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During Tuesday’s trial witnesses described those moments: “Unresponsive. They were performing CPR, a lifeless body, and when the EMT was carrying the child out. The arms and legs were hanging off of his arms,” said Carlsbad Police Officer Chris Austin.

Prosecutors argued Smith knew her son was using her drugs and highlighted the boy’s previous overdoses, saying Smith failed to protect her son or get him help.

“He is 12 years old, and this is the third time, that we know of, that he has overdosed,” said Kirtley. 

Smith’s defense attorney argued fentanyl is the problem and said Smith is a good person suffering from addiction. He also argued the State can’t prove Brent got the deadly fentanyl from his mother’s stash.

“Where Brent got it? Fentanyl, who knows? On September 28th, when he went into the shed on that fateful day,” said Smith’s Attorney Todd Holmes.

If convicted, Smith faces life in prison. Her mother, Kelli Smith, is set to go to trial in November for child abuse charges in the same case.