PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Prosecutors believe a Philadelphia man put heroin and methadone in his infant's bottle to quiet the boy but instead killed him, two days before his first birthday.
Orlando Rosado will face a third-degree murder trial after waiving his right to a preliminary hearing Tuesday.
Rosado, 45, told police he accidentally put drugs in the bottle during a 3 a.m. feeding in May. But Assistant District Attorney Lorraine Donnelly plans to argue the drug cocktail — though not baby Christopher's death — was intentional.
"He admits putting it in the bottle. His version is, it must have been accidental because he was high," Donnelly said. "My theory is the baby was fussy, and he was trying to put him to sleep."
The baby's mother has described Christopher as fussy, and he was at the bottom of the standard weight range for his age, the prosecutor said.
Defense lawyer Bruce Wolf called the case an active investigation but declined to elaborate.
Rosado remained in prison after a judge Tuesday refused to lower his $1 million bail. He had served a year in prison on a 1986 drug case and has prior arrests for robbery and other crimes in New York, Donnelly said.
No trial date has been set in the infant's May 11 death. Rosado is also charged with involuntary manslaughter, drug delivery causing death, child endangerment and other charges.
Rosado told authorities both he and the baby fell asleep after the feeding. Christopher was found around 7 a.m., face-down in vomit in his crib, Donnelly said. Both Rosado and girlfriend Crystal Miller, the baby's mother, tried to resuscitate the boy, who was found cold and limp. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.
The couple also has a 5-year-old child who is now in protective custody, Donnelly said. Miller is not charged.
Rosado was in a methadone treatment program for addicts trying to kick heroin, but was duping the program into thinking he was clean, according to Donnelly. She said he was using an eye dropper containing someone else's urine for drug tests. Rosado has said he bought 60 milligrams of heroin that day, and put half in Christopher's bottle, Donnelly said. Police found a significant amount of heroin in both the baby's blood and in the leftover contents of the bottle, she said.