- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 16, 2015

CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. (AP) - A former nurse was charged Wednesday with criminally negligent homicide after an investigation determined her 6-year-old daughter died on Easter from a drug mixture that included antidepressants and pain medication.

Kathleen Dymes, 51, pleaded not guilty to a three-count indictment, which included child endangerment and drug possession charges. A Westchester County Court judge set her bail at $25,000.

Prosecutors say 6-year-old Lacey Carr was found dead in her bed on April 5 after her father called 911 because he couldn’t wake her. When officers arrived at the home in Croton-on-Hudson, Lacey was unconscious and unresponsive, prosecutors said.

Dymes was found unconscious on the floor next to her daughter’s bed, according to authorities.

Prosecutors allege Lacey died after ingesting a fatal combination of Benadryl, morphine and diazepam, an antidepressant. When police searched Dymes’ home, they found an open bottle of alcohol and “various and numerous over-the-counter, prescription and illegal drugs strewn about the room,” the district attorney’s office said.

“This defendant failed in her most basic role as a mother and caregiver: to ensure the safety and well-being of her child,” Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore said. “As a former nurse, she could know only too well the dosage and interactions of the drugs her daughter had ingested that led to her death.”

Dymes’ attorney, Peter Tilem, said his client is not accused of intentionally feeding the medication to her daughter. He said prosecutors did not present their theory of the crime during her arraignment, so he doesn’t have a clear understanding of the exact allegations.

Tilem, who said his client was in a coma for two months after the Easter incident, said Wednesday evening that she is “in rough shape” and uses a wheelchair because one of her legs is paralyzed.

“This case is just a tragic, tragic accident,” he said. “This has been very hard, both physically and mentally.”

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