6/28/22—The exterior of the Baltimore City Circuit Courthouse., Courthouse East.

A man pleaded guilty on Monday to involuntary manslaughter for a sentence of five years in prison after his 3-year-old daughter fatally overdosed in Baltimore on fentanyl, an opioid that’s more powerful than heroin.

Jerome Faulkner, 39, of Belair-Edison, was sleeping with his daughter, Aubrey, at a home on Chesterfield Avenue near Woodstock Avenue, when he got up and discovered that she was unresponsive at 2:30 a.m. on Oct. 2, 2020. He later told the girl’s mother that the child must’ve gotten ahold of his drugs, Baltimore Police reported.

As part of the plea agreement, Faulkner must spend three years on probation.

“I just want to get it over with, get it behind me,” said Faulkner, who declined to make a statement before the judge handed down the sentence.

Emergency medical services took the girl to the Johns Hopkins Hospital, where a doctor pronounced her dead at 3:20 a.m. The Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, police reported, later determined that the cause of death was narcotics intoxication.

Faulkner told homicide detectives that he’d used drugs — heroin laced with fentanyl, prosecutors said — at about 4 p.m. the previous day, police reported.

The Baltimore City Fire Department, police reported, later revived him with naloxone, an opioid antidote that’s commonly marketed under the brand name Narcan. He went back to sleep at 10 p.m.

When Faulkner got up to use the bathroom, he tried to wake his daughter but noticed that she was unresponsive, police reported.

The Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office notified the girl’s mother of the plea agreement, Assistant State’s Attorney Paul Crowley said.

Assistant Public Defender Karyn Meriwether filled in for Faulkner’s attorney, Amanda Savage, at the hearing.

“Reading the facts of the case,” Circuit Judge Melissa M. Phinn said, “I do think Mr. Faulkner is in dire need of drug treatment.”

Faulkner has been incarcerated since Feb. 23 in the Baltimore Central Booking & Intake Center. He will have to undergo drug treatment as a condition of his probation.

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