Kerri-Ann Conley Queensland ice-mom admits dozing off as 2 daughters died in hot car after session of smoking meth the day before. Awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to manslaughter.
‘It was one of many times…’ A Queensland, Australia drug addict mother has admitted causing the deaths of her two toddler daughters after the ‘delinquent’ mom fell asleep following a ‘session’ as the infant children were unable to get free or protect themselves from a hot car they were left behind amid 60 degree celsius (140 Fahrenheit) temperatures.
Appearing at a Brisbane court, Kerri-Ann Conley, 30, acknowledged playing on her phone before ‘dozing off’ in her house while her two young daughters died in a hot car on November 23, 2019.
The children — identified as two-year-old Darcy-Helen and her sister, one-year-old Chloe-Ann — died inside their mother’s car outside their Logan City home, south of Brisbane.
The court heard how Conley smoked ice the day before the incident, visited her friend’s house with the children, and drove home only to leave the children restrained in the Mazda sedan at 4 am. The mother went into the house to sleep and only retrieved her children at 1.30 pm as temperatures rose above a scorching 140F according to Daily Mail Australia.
Crown prosecutor Sarah Dennis told the court, ‘This is not a case of an unfortunate lapse in memory … the deaths of these children could have been easily avoided.’
Waterford West mother Kerri-Ann Conley was high on drugs when she passed out in November 2018, leaving two little girls to endure a slow and painful death in a hot car. pic.twitter.com/x3Af4q1hDu
— 10 News First Queensland (@10NewsFirstQLD) February 14, 2023
Mom attempted to dispose of drug evidence upon police coming to home emergency
Dennis said Conley regularly left her children sleeping in the car and several of her friends had taken them out of the vehicle on multiple occasions. The suspect’s family members, including the father of one of her children, were present at Brisbane Supreme Court as prosecutors laid out the horrific series of events.
Conley’s phone records revealed she was using the device until after 5 am that fateful morning before going to sleep while her children were still inside the car. She woke up only in the afternoon and finally took the children out of the car and into the house. The court learned that Conley subsequently phoned the father of one of the girls, who told her to call the emergency number triple-0 immediately.
‘She told them she had fallen asleep and had left the children in the car,’ Dennis said. ‘She was in a distressed state.’
The prosecutor highlighted that the children’s skin was covered in blisters and peeled off as emergency responders attempted to treat them.
Upon police arriving, the prosecution told of the mom offering a false account of what transpired the night before.
‘Her attempt to dispose of evidence of her own drug use and the timing of that attempt and the lies she told police to minimize her own culpability indicate while shock may have been a factor, her primal instinct was to protect herself … when her primal instinct as mother and caregiver should have been to protect her children,’ Dennis said.
In explaining away why she regularly left the girls sleeping in the car, Conley said she left them there because they were asleep and were ‘difficult’ to settle once awake.
‘Heavy and frequent drug user’
Continued the prosecutor: ‘It represents a complete abrogation of her duties as the mother and primary carer of her children.’
The prosecutor described the mom as a ‘heavy and frequent’ drug user. A medical screening test found traces of the drug ice as well as amphetamines in Conley’s blood, before she admitted to smoking a ‘point-and-a-half’ of methylamphetamine the day before the incident.
Conley was originally charged with murder under new Queensland legislation introduced just weeks before the incident, which reportedly includes reckless indifference to human life as a form of murder. However, she pleaded guilty to two counts of manslaughter when brought into court on Tuesday. Meanwhile, she also pleaded guilty to other charges of possessing drugs and drug paraphernalia.
Conley who has remained in custody going on three years, will be sentenced at a later date by Supreme Court Justice Peter Applegarth.