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MERCER – Common Pleas President Judge Daniel P. Wallace resentenced a woman Thursday to jail time in the near-fatal drug overdose of a 2-year-old child.

Natasha M. Willingham, 34, Sharon, pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of children and was sentenced in January to 5 years probation.

Willingham had tested negative in her drug screening at the time of the incident, but the father tested positive.

Patrick Dwayne Howard Jr., 36, Sharon, pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of children in the same case. He was sentenced in June to 9 to 18 months in Mercer County Jail followed by 3 years probation.

Willingham was being resentenced in the case Thursday because she violated her parole.

Assistant District Attorney Rob Hartley said she had a new criminal conviction of possession of drug paraphernalia, and that she admitted to using fentanyl.

Wallace told Willingham that fentanyl is the drug her 2-year-old was exposed to and the reason she was in trouble in the first place.

“Eventually you’re going to overdose and die unless you figure it out,” Wallace told Willingham. “If you use fentanyl again, the same thing is going to happen to you.”

Wallace resentenced Willingham to 9 to 18 months in Mercer County Jail followed by 3 years probation. She received credit for serving 73 days in jail. Upon parole, she is ordered to enter into an outpatient treatment program.

“I don’t want to parole you and you overdose and you’re dead, then you have a 2-year-old without a mom,” Wallace said.

Sharon police responded to the couple’s Sterling Avenue apartment Oct. 13 after being advised by Children and Youth Services that the child received two doses of the antidote Narcan before her vitals became stable, and she was flown to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, according to a police criminal complaint.

Testimony during Howard’s preliminary hearing in Sharon district court indicated that Howard told the CYS case worker and police that he fell asleep around 10 p.m. the night before. He said he checked on the child around 6 a.m. and her eyes were open but she was not responsive.

A state probation and parole agent testified that Howard tested positive for fentanyl and he was authorized to search the apartment.

The agent testified that he found more than 100 needles scattered around the bedroom, white powder on a folded piece of paper, and a scale and straw with residue.

On Oct. 28, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh confirmed that the 2-year-old’s condition was consistent with a fentanyl overdose. The report stated that fentanyl, norfentanyl, nicotine, and quinine were found in the baby’s urine.

NOTE: All defendants are to be presumed innocent until proven or adjudicacted guilty in court.

Follow Melissa Klaric on twitter @HeraldKlaric or email her at mklaric@sharonherald.com

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Melissa has been a news reporter for The Herald since 2013, covering breaking news, northern Mercer County, Sharon City schools and education. She is a 1992 graduate of Youngstown State University with a Bachelor of Arts in communications.