405-778-4800
Criminal Attorney Oklahoma Defense Lawyer Adam R. Banner OKLAHOMA CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY AT LAW
This Attorney is Lead Counsel Rated. Click here for more Information.

Woman Charged after 3rd Newborn Tests Positive for Meth

17-Feb-2014

A woman whose newborn son died in August 2012 was charged with child neglect earlier this month after it was determined that the infant tested positive for methamphetamine.

Teresa Kay Vandiver, 37, of Del City was arrested by Oklahoma City Police and charged in Oklahoma County District Court on February 7, 2014, with one count of child neglect in violation of 21 O.S. 843.5 (C)(D). While Vandiver denied using meth in the days leading up to the delivery, she said that she had used the drug earlier.

Vandiver, who has nine other children, said that she believed she had become pregnant in April 2012, four months before the newborn died. She told police she could not remember all of her pregnancies, but admitted that Joseph was not the first child she had lost to pre-term birth. Indeed, he was not even the only child she had delivered to test positive for methamphetamine.

In 2007, a child born to Vandiver tested positive for meth, and the baby and three other siblings were taken into DHS custody. Four years later, in 2011, Vandiver delivered a stillborn girl, who also tested positive for meth.

In general, child neglect refers to the neglect of a child who has already been born. However, in this case, Vandiver is charged with neglect of an unborn child by exposing him or her to drugs in utero.

The Oklahoma Children's Code defines neglect in 10A O.S. 1-1-105 as follows:

47. "Neglect" means: a. the failure or omission to provide any of the following: 

  1. adequate nurturance and affection, food, clothing, shelter, sanitation, hygiene, or appropriate education, 
  2. medical, dental, or behavioral health care, 
  3. supervision or appropriate caretakers, or 
  4. special care made necessary by the physical or mental condition of the child, 

b. the failure or omission to protect a child from exposure to any of the following: 

  1. the use, possession, sale, or manufacture of illegal drugs, 
  2. illegal activities, or 
  3. sexual acts or materials that are not age- appropriate, or 

c. abandonment.

Furthermore, the statute defines "heinous and shocking neglect" as follows: 

  • chronic neglect that includes, but is not limited to, a persistent pattern of family functioning in which the caregiver has not met or sustained the basic needs of a child which results in harm to the child, 
  • neglect that has resulted in a diagnosis of the child as a failure to thrive, 
  • an act or failure to act by a parent that results in the death or near death of a child or sibling, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or presents an imminent risk of serious harm to a child, or 
  • any other similar aggravating circumstance

Perhaps a pattern of drug use while present, that resulted in the deaths of two newborns, the positive drug test of a third, and at least four children being removed from the home, was the "heinous and shocking neglect" that prompted the District Attorney's Office to file criminal charges.

If convicted of a single count of child neglect, Vandiver faces a maximum penalty of life in prison.



All News

More News

As Oklahoma County Jail Deaths Continue, Detention Officers Could Face Charges
15-Sep-2017

In May of this year, we examined deaths at the Oklahoma County Jai..

Canadian County Man Accused of Aggravated Possession of Child Pornography
01-Sep-2017

Acting on a tip received by the National Center for Missing and Ex..

Goodwill Employee Accused of Embezzling Deposits
21-Aug-2017

Police say the former assistant manager of a Goodwill store locate..

Stillwater Bail Bonds Agent Arrested for Murder
14-Aug-2017

A Stillwater bail agent who claimed she shot a client in self defe..

Tulsa Massage Parlor Owner Accused of Human Trafficking
11-Aug-2017

A Tulsa massage parlor owner has been arrested on human traffickin..

State Reaches Settlement with Former Death Row Inmate
07-Aug-2017

A former Oklahoma death row inmate whose conviction was later over..

Mother, Grandmother of Recovered Missing Children Arrested
04-Aug-2017

On July 3, David Corsaut texted his ex-wife to make arrangements t..

Couple Sentenced in Child Neglect Death of Infant
31-Jul-2017

A Tulsa mother and her boyfriend were sentenced last week in the c..

No Charges in MWC Home Invasion Shooting
24-Jul-2017

The Oklahoma County District Attorney's Office has announced that ..

Couple Arrested after Reportedly Abusing Child and Making Him Shoplift
21-Jul-2017

A man and woman in Rogers County, Oklahoma, have been arrested on ..

×