The young Bangor mother accused of sickening her 7-month-old baby by passing methamphetamine through her breast milk and operating a lab to manufacture the drug was admitted to the Penobscot County Adult Drug Court on Wednesday.
Alyssa Murch, 21, pleaded guilty to one count each of unlawful furnishing of a scheduled drug, endangering the welfare of a child, unlawful operation of a methamphetamine lab and violation of a condition of release.
In her plea agreement with the Penobscot County district attorney’s office, one count each of aggravated drug furnishing and domestic violence assault against a child were dismissed.
She was sentenced to three years with all but 76 days suspended — the time she had served since her arrest in April on the charges — and two years of probation on the charges related to her child. Murch could face up to three years in prison if she does not complete the drug court program.
If Murch graduates from drug court, the most serious charge of operating a meth lab, a Class B crime, would be reduced to a Class C drug possession charge, and she would be sentenced to an additional two years of probation, her attorney said late Wednesday. If she is unsuccessful, the agreement calls for her to be sentenced to five years in prison with all but nine months and a day suspended.
“She is excited about getting treatment, turning life around and being there for her children,” said Murch’s attorney, Kaylee Folster of Bangor.
Murch, who is at least five months pregnant, was released from jail Wednesday and entered a residential treatment facility. Her two children remain in the custody of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, but Murch is allowed supervised visits with them. The baby who ingested the drug through breast milk has recovered, according to prosecutors.
Murch originally was charged after Bangor police detectives were called to Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center at about 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16 for a report that an unconscious child had been brought to the hospital after allegedly ingesting methamphetamine, Sgt. Wade Betters, spokesman for the Bangor Police Department, said in January.
She was free on $1,000 unsecured bail in April when Murch was arrested on a warrant issued by the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency for allegedly making methamphetamine at her Davis Road apartment from which she had been evicted but where she was still living. MDEA agents, who were called Feb. 25 to the apartment complex by Bangor police and the Bangor Housing Authority, found items used to make the drug and residue in several 1-liter plastic bottles suspected of containing the drug.