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Police say Ashleigh Milne, 21, made death threats, both parents allegedly tried to hide drugs while man was still hospitalized
Parents charged after toddler dies from ingesting illicit drugs last year
A 21-year-old woman has been charged with criminal negligence causing death after she allegedly injected her six-month-old child with drug at a Toronto residence last year.
Tara Angus Angulo, 38, and Ashleigh Milne, 21, were charged on Thursday with second-degree murder and criminal negligence causing death.
Angulo and Milne were charged after a man was admitted to hospital with an ingested substance in 2017. That substance was later determined to be a combination of heroin and cannabis.
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Toronto police were first called to the residence at about 9.30pm after receiving a tip about a woman and child believed to be in distress.
Upon arrival they found the child, identified as Taylor Milne, unconscious on the floor and the adult man, also suffering from an ingested substance.
Milne and Angulo both tried to cover up the drug discovery, according to a police statement. Angulo allegedly made a number of drug threats while Ashton Milne was still in the residence.
Milne later admitted to administering drugs to the child while she was “high on heroin”.
Milne is also accused of assaulting the infant while on the phone with Angulo after Taylor Milne was allegedly exposed to drugs.
Milne was immediately arrested and placed in custody on the outstanding warrant. Angulo appeared in court at 12.10pm on Friday and is scheduled to return to court on 15 August 2019.
The parents have been released on a $100,000 and $75,000 bail, respectively.
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“Criminal negligence causing death is a very serious charge because it will enable us to seek heavier sentences,” said Toronto’s chief of police, Mark Saunders.
“It’s certainly a challenge that we have to face. Some of the activities that we deal with are illegal and often we can’t send offenders to jail at all, so it’s important that we charge as they come.”
There were 122 homicides in Toronto in 2018. The police said a huge increase in the number of infants and toddlers in this age group in custody since 2014 has heightened the need to better understand where drug dependency is coming from.
About 95% of the children in Toronto custody are now toddlers or younger. And 83% are white.
Police services have been operating a progressive domestic violence unit in Toronto since 2014, whose goal is to discourage and stop domestic violence before it escalates.
According to the Toronto police force, 85% of drugs and alcohol involved in child fatalities in Toronto are from either parents or children themselves.
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Last year police in Toronto made 280 allegations against drug dealers, which Saunders attributed to the police presence on the streets and a growing fear of police officers among the dealers.
The drugs and alcohol unit has been operational in Toronto since 2012 and is primarily comprised of police officers from the police’s domestic violence unit.
“It’s still such a very poor representation of the problem in the city because far too often we see the children are consuming the drugs,” said Saunders.
Police are calling on residents and medical professionals to come forward if they suspect drugs or alcohol are being used by children.
Police ask that anyone with information is encouraged to contact the 20th police station, 24-hour domestic violence line, 416.808.2255, police headquarters at 416.808.2120, homicide 911.