FREEHOLD – A Monmouth County Grand Jury has returned a five-count indictment against an Asbury Park woman whose 2-year-old son died due to a drug overdose earlier this year, Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced Monday.
Quanique Smith, 26, is charged with first-degree Aggravated Manslaughter, two counts of second-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child, third-degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance, and third-degree Hindering Apprehension.
Shortly after 1 a.m. on Thursday, January 5, members of the Asbury Park Police Department responded to an apartment unit on the 100 block of Langford Street on a report of an unresponsive child. At that location they found the child, who was rushed to a local hospital, where despite lifesaving efforts he was pronounced deceased shortly before 2 a.m.
An investigation involving members of the Prosecutor’s Office and the Asbury Park Police Department determined that quantities of heroin and fentanyl belonging to Smith had been left in the family’s home within reach of the 2-year-old and his 5-year-old sibling, with the former child ingesting the drugs that directly caused his death. Smith was arrested later on the same day and transported to the Monmouth County Correctional Institution (MCCI).
Anyone with information about this matter is still asked to contact MCPO Detective Stephen Cavendish at 800-533-7443 or Asbury Park Detective Anthony Houlis at 732-502-4582. This case was assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Stephanie Dugan.
Smith is being represented by Allison Friedman, Esq.
If convicted of the Aggravated Manslaughter charge, Smith could be subject to a term of up to 30 years in state prison, with 85 percent of the sentence to be served before the possibility of parole under the provisions of New Jersey’s No Early Release Act (NERA). Convictions on second- and third-degree criminal charges are commonly punishable by terms of up to 10 and 5 years, respectively.
Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.