AMERICAN FORK, Utah — A Utah County judged ordered a woman to prison Tuesday after she was found guilty of felony charges of child abuse and distribution of a controlled substance.
Lacey Dawn Christenson, 27, faces a sentence of one to 15 years at the Utah State Prison. According to the Utah County Sheriff's Office, Christenson's two youngest sons and her infant daughter all tested positive for methamphetamine, and the infant also tested positive for heroin and morphine.
Investigators learned Christenson had been heavily using heroin and prescription pain medication during her pregnancy, and her daughter, who was born on April 9, was born addicted to drugs, according to a statement from the Sheriff's Office.
The investigation began in June when Colby Glen Wilde, Christenson's common-law husband, was caught shoplifting at a Walmart in Spanish Fork. A spokesman for the Utah County Sheriff's Office said Wilde was carrying the infant in a car seat and he dropped her twice while trying to flee the scene.
A deputy caught up with Wilde and booked him into jail for possession of heroin and methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and no insurance. Christenson, who was with Wilde at Walmart, was booked on an outstanding warrant. Christenson's three boys, ages eight, four and two, were also with her at Walmart.
The Utah Division of Child and Family Services took custody of the children and later released all four of them into the custody of the oldest boy's father.
While Christenson and Wilde were in jail, a woman taking care of their pets found drug paraphernalia at their Elk Ridge home, the statement said. Deputies serving a warrant also found Suboxone, a prescription pain medication used for pain management and addiction treatment, the statement said.
In an interview with investigators, Wilde later admitted he crushed Suboxone and rubbed it on the infant's gums in order to mask signs of drug dependence on the day she was born.