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Tammy Adkins

Tammy Adkins

VALPARAISO — A 49-year-old grandmother charged in connection with the methadone-related death of her grandchild is arguing there isn't enough evidence to link her to her grandson's death.

Tammy Adkins is charged with neglect of a dependent as a level 1 felony, which carries a potential sentence of 20 to 40 years behind bars.

Her bond is set at $10,000 cash, but Adkins argues through attorney Bob Harper there is no evidence showing she intentionally gave the 9-month-old boy the drug or left it out where there was a high probability the child would pick it up and drink it.

She is seeking to be released from jail with a reduced bond or none at all.

The evidence presented by police for charging does not indicate when the child took the methadone, how much was taken or how much it would take to cause the death of the child, according to the petition for bond reduction.

A hearing is set for 10 a.m. March 14 before Porter Superior Court Judge Roger Bradford.

Police and medical officials were called to Adkins' Portage home in the 70 block of North Boulevard on March 24 where they found the child not breathing, according to court records.

Adkins reportedly told officials she found the child unresponsive and called for help. She was babysitting the child for her son, who lives at the same address.

Officials assumed at first that the child died of a more common cause for that age group, like a bed death or sudden infant death syndrome. But lab results revealed methadone in the child's system, and an autopsy determined it was a lethal dose.

Methadone is used in the treatment of heroin addiction and is prescribed as a pain reliever. Adkins has been taking the drug for about 10 years because of past heroin addiction and receives it from a Gary treatment center, according to the charging information.

The drug comes in liquid form, and Adkins had been consuming it each morning by mixing it with water or juice, according to court records. She kept it in a locked box under the kitchen sink, and the bottle is very difficult to open, according to others living at the house.

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Porter/LaPorte county reporter

Bob is a 23-year veteran of The Times. He covers county government and courts in Porter County, federal courts, police news and regional issues. He also created the Vegan in the Region blog, is an Indiana University grad and lifelong region resident.