Alabama Grandmother Charged in Death of Grandson, 19 Months, After He Overdosed on Methadone

Authorities had been searching for the grandmother, Michelle Lee Light, for more than a month

Michelle Lee Light
Photo: Jefferson County Sheriff's Office

An Alabama grandmother is accused of letting her 19-month-old grandson ingest methadone, which killed the child, police said.

According to a press release from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office in Alabama, Michelle Lee Light, 44, was arrested and charged on Sunday with chemical endangerment of a child resulting in death, a Class A felony. She is currently being held on a $500,000 bond.

Authorities allege that while Journey Dorman was left “in the care of” Light, she “allowed the child to have access to and ingest a controlled substance.”

Journey died on July 21, 2018, due to the “toxicity of that substance,” police said.

During a press conference on Monday, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Captain David Agee said the substance was methadone. Agee alleged that Light “allowed the substance in an area where the child was able to access it and ingest it” while she was babysitting Journey.

“When the child was clearly ill Michelle Light never informed medical personnel that it was possible that the child had ingested this substance,” police allege in the press release. “Journey Dorman suffered a tragic death due to the recklessness of the person who was supposed to protect him from danger.”

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It was not immediately clear if Light has entered a plea to the charge against her or retained an attorney to comment on her behalf.

Journey’s death began a yearlong investigation, and detectives eventually obtained a warrant against Light. Authorities with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office have been looking for her since since last month, police said.

“What we’re saying is this death did not have to happen,” Agee said during the press conference. “What we’re saying to drug users: You might put yourself at risk, but you will not put children at risk. If you do, you can expect to be arrested and charged.”

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