PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- A local mother is heading to trial on charges she contributed to the drug overdose death of her 18-month-old daughter.
But the woman's lawyer says, the incident was nothing more than a tragic accident.
At Friday's hearing, a judge refused to drop an involuntary manslaughter charge against 24-year-old Sondra Rector of Spring Hill. Her daughter died last year.
"Now, she's very upset," says public defender Anthony Borrero. "I think she's dealing not only with the death of her child ... that's weighing heavily on her. She's frightened about these charges."
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Rector was living at a home in Spring Hill with her 18-month-old daughter and a friend, 62-year-old Bill Kablach.
Police were called out to the home in June. They found the child on the floor, lying at the foot of her mother's bed. Her skin was blue.
Rector told investigators she decided to take a nap. At that time, there was a single morphine pill on a night stand near the bed, as well as some heroin. Rector said when she woke up, the pill was gone and her daughter was on the floor, unable to breathe.
The medical examiner said the girl died of morphine toxicity. Rector told officers that Kablach had purchased the pill on the street.
The public defender argued that Rector's behavior was not reckless, and that there was evidence she even knew the pill was on the bed-side table beforehand.
"This was an accident," says Borrero. "She had no idea the pill was there. She awake and sees the child dead. Basically, she asked Mr. Kablach to call for help immediately, and he refused to do that apparently."
Today in court, Kablach waived his hearing. He's charged with endangering the welfare of a child, and is free on bond.
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