Woman gets jail time
July 28, 2009
A woman whose son was born addicted to illegal drugs was sentenced to serve 90 days in the Summit County Jail.
3rd District Court Judge Bruce Lubeck also ordered Salt Lake County resident Shannon M. Snyder to complete 100 community-service hours and 36 months of probation with Adult Probation and Parole.
Snyder pleaded guilty to endangerment of a child, which is a third-degree felony. She admitted she ingested methadone, cocaine and opiates while pregnant with a boy born Jan 13, the authorities said.
Investigators believe the fetus was exposed to the drugs.
The baby needed to be treated with morphine for its addiction, according to Summit County prosecutor Joy Natale.
Natale said Snyder’s abuse of the baby was part of a pattern of behavior.
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Other children have been taken from Snyder by the state Division of Child and Family Services, according to authorities.
But doctors can only speculate about any long-term damage the child might have incurred as a result of Snyder using drugs during her pregnancy, said Scott Cunningham, an attorney for the defendant.
Cunningham did not comment about the case when reached Monday by The Park Record.
Natale said a "substantial" amount of jail time was warranted in the case.
The baby was in respiratory distress and suffered withdrawal symptoms at birth, the prosecutor added.
Trying to avoid prosecution, Snyder traveled from Ogden to Wyoming to have the child, Natale said.
The baby was hospitalized for several weeks, according to Summit County Attorney David Brickey.
People guilty of third-degree felonies in Utah could serve up to five years in prison.
Snyder begged Lubeck this month not to send her to jail.
She has said she was using drugs last year when she found out she was pregnant, and could not quit.
A report from Adult Probation and Parole, before Snyder was sentenced, recommended the woman serve jail time, according to Brickey.