Chemical Endangerment Charge For Couple, After 6-Month Old Dies

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A Mobile County couple is being accused of exposing their 6-month-old baby to meth. Their baby boy died at their home in February.

Authorities say that toxicology results showed a “significant” amount of meth in the baby’s system. Tracy Howell and William Knight were booked into jail on Wednesday.

“They say blood was found in your baby’s blood and urine. Were you using meth while you were pregnant?” asked Local 15’s, Andrea Ramey.


Howell and William Knight remained silent as investigators walked them in handcuffs to a patrol car for the ride across the street to Metro Jail. Both have been charged with felony chemical endangerment of a child.

Why not charge this couple with more serious charges like manslaughter or murder? Explain why they are only charged with chemical endangerment of a child?” asked Ramey.

“The doctor, in this case, ruled that the cause of death was pneumonia and the manner was natural but did note the methamphetamine and amphetamine in the liver, urine, and blood,” replied Capt. Paul Burch. “Me personally and my detectives, we don’t necessarily agree with the findings with forensics.

Robert Hensley lives across the street from where the couple lives and was home when William Knight, Jr. died.

For a while, she was completely inconsolable. I mean screaming, begging anyone to help, praying to God,” said Hensley. “When her husband came up, got here, some of the family had already gathered. And when he found out he fell to his knees and started crying himself.”

Burch says the couple knew the baby was sick and did nothing about it.

“There was a push from other family members to take the child to the hospital and the mother refused,” said Burch.

The couple also has a 3-year-old child, who was removed from the home and is with family members.

It’s likely that she’s been exposed to meth as well, says authorities, therefore additional charges may come their way.

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