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Pocatello woman who birthed a baby addicted to opioids expected to plead guilty

Crime Watch

POCATELLO — A woman who gave birth to a baby addicted to heroin is expected to plead guilty to injuring a child.

Lydia Anna Hernandez, 33, has agreed to plead guilty to the felony charge, according to court documents.

RELATED | Woman charged after giving birth to baby allegedly addicted to opiates

Hernandez was arrested in August following a months-long investigation.

The baby was born with what hospital staff called “significant withdrawal symptoms.” Representatives with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare were in contact with the hospital soon after the baby’s birth due to an alert from a family member that Hernandez was using drugs while pregnant.

Officers reviewed a 440-page report filed by Portneuf Medical Center staff detailing the baby’s months of intensive care treatment. According to police, that report included 206 mentions of the word “withdrawal.”

Custody of the baby was given to a family member by IDHW officials.

Because Hernandez’s expected change of plea is not part of a plea deal, she could face the maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and $50,000 in fines.

Hernandez is scheduled for a change of plea hearing before Magistrate Judge Carol Tippi Jarman on Oct. 4. She will be sentenced at that hearing.

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