A Parkland woman who exposed her young children to heroin by smoking it around them was sentenced Friday.
Ashlee Rose Hutt’s children were ages 2, 4 and 6 when Child Protective Services took them from their parents’ home in November 2015.
Charging papers say investigators found heroin and rat droppings in the house.
Pierce County Superior Court Judge Garold Johnson gave Hutt, 25, a high-end sentence of three months behind bars after she pleaded guilty to third-degree child assault.
The children’s father, 27-year-old Mac Leroy McIver, also was charged in the case, which is pending.
Charging papers said the oldest child described the parents injecting the children with “feel good medicine,” that CPS workers found marks on the youngest child’s body that indicated heroin injection and that the 2-year-old tested positive for heroin.
At Hutt’s sentencing, defense attorney Laura Carnell disputed that the children were injected, and said her client had been honest with her at the start of the case about what she believed happened.
“It wasn’t a matter of injecting her children with heroin,” Carnell told the court. “It was an exposure-related situation.”
Carnell said a defense expert looked at hair follicle tests and couldn’t rule out that the children were exposed to heroin, as opposed to being injected with it.
The home, the attorney said, was “filled with people who were not doing good things for themselves or anyone else in that house.”
After negotiations, she and Deputy Prosecutor Lori Kooiman recommended the high-end sentence.
Kooiman said it wasn’t clear how each child was exposed to the drug, and that Hutt was high when she gave birth to her fourth child, while the case was pending.
A relative now caring for the kids described their lives to the judge: “The fear that they still have. The nightmares, the crying. ... Two years later, after therapy, after everything, the littlest one (who was 2 at the time) calls them monsters.”
Johnson prohibited Hutt from contacting the children for one year. After that, a dependency court will decide if she can see them.
“You will attend parenting classes,” the judge said. “You will attend drug and alcohol classes. Get on top of this, before you actually end up killing yourself.”