YOUNGSTOWN -- The South Side grandmother of a baby who died of a suspected drug overdose while in her care has pleaded no contest to three misdemeanor drug charges.
Mary Ann Barnett, 44, of Julian Street, faces sentencing March 22 before Judge Elizabeth A. Kobly of Youngstown Municipal Court on two charges of drug abuse and one violation of drug labeling law. Two felony drug possession charges were bound over to a grand jury in January.
Barnett's 15-month-old grandson Justin Hoschar died in December. Justin was taken to Forum Health Tod Children's Hospital for a vitamin overdose on Dec. 7 and died four days later. Police said an emergency-room physician said he overdosed on the prescription painkiller OxyContin. The case remains open pending an autopsy by the Trumbull County Coroner's office.
Pills found: Barnett was arrested Dec. 8 after police found suspected OxyContin and other loose pills in her residence. She told court officials in December that Justin and his 21/2-year-old sister were living with her because the children's parents, her daughter and her daughter's boyfriend, were unable to care for them.
She told police she takes OxyContin for pain but doesn't have a prescription and buys it on the street.