Mother sentenced in death of infant son who ingested meth, then hid his body in attic

Shaylynn Curtis from Kentucky was sentenced to 23 years in a state correctional facility on Monday, after pleading guilty to murder and abuse of corpse in connection to the death of her 5-month-old son, who died in 2021 due to complications from ingesting methamphetamine.

Curtis entered an Alford plea, which is similar to a guilty plea, but allows her to maintain her innocence while admitting the state has enough evidence to convict her. She told the court that she loved her son during her opportunity to speak.

Trigg County police found out about the infant’s death when friends of Curtis called them to conduct a welfare check. It was revealed the baby had been dead for at least 24 hours, and the medical examiner’s report showed that the cause of death was acute methamphetamine intoxication. However, the manner of death was listed as “undetermined” since it was unclear how the infant ingested the meth.

The grand jury indicted Curtis for murder with either an intentional or wanton act. It is believed that if the jury did not think that Curtis intentionally gave the baby meth for him to die, any other conduct would have been considered wanton and would have been equally considered as murder. An alternative theory that was presented was that the baby could have ingested the meth through breastfeeding after Curtis had used it.

State law requires Curtis to serve 85% of her sentence, which is at least 19.5 years.