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Butler County dad pleads guilty in 1-year-old son’s drug death

A Trenton man entered a guilty plea Monday in Butler County Common Pleas Court on the day his trial was scheduled to begin for the death of his son after toxic levels of drugs were found in the 1-year-old’s system.

Dorrico Dawaun Brown, 34, was charged with involuntary manslaughter and child endangering in August following Dorrico Brown Jr.’s death in May at a Hamilton home.

FIRST REPORT: Opiates found in Butler County baby’s system; father arrested

Brown pleaded guilty Monday to reckless homicide and furnishing a minor with drugs, both second-degree felonies. He now faces up to eight years in prison.

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Lawrence Hawkins III comments about case of father charged with son's overdose death

A toxicology report on Brown Jr. from the coroner’s office indicated the child tested positive for opiates, benzodiazepines and antihistamines at the time of his death.

Both defense attorney Lawrence Hawkins III and Assistant Butler County Prosecutor Kelly Heile said it is not clear when the child ingested the drugs.

“Somehow the child got into those drugs. How he was able to access those drugs we can’t say,” Heile said.

Hawkins said this was not an intentional act.

“This is very emotional for him. His son is dead. But he wants to accept responsibility,” Hawkins said. “It is an example of how important it is to be careful about putting medication away and out of reach of children.”

MORE: Outburst in the courtroom as Butler County babysitter charged in toddler’s death makes appearance

In a 911 call to dispatchers, Brown said, “My son is just freezing cold and I don’t think he’s even breathing. He was taking a nap and I came in here and he’s just cold.”

Hawkins said Brown performed CPR on the boy but he was never revived. The baby did not live with Brown. He was visiting the baby at his home in Hamilton at the time of the incident.

Brown’s sentencing has been set for May 16.

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