Kentucky women accused in drowning death of toddler appear in court

Kentucky women accused in drowning death of toddler appear in court
Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 4:03 PM EST
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CLARK COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Two Clark County women accused in the death of a toddler appeared in court Monday afternoon.

Monica and Erica Goodwin are both facing charges of manslaughter. Both entered pleas of not guilty during Monday’s hearing. Erica Goodwin has also bonded out of jail, while Monica Goodwin has not.

According to court documents, the women were at home with Monica Goodwin’s 14-month-old child on November 16. They went to an upstairs bedroom, leaving the child alone downstairs.

Police say the child was left alone for enough time to climb into a hot tub inside the home and drown.

Officials say drug paraphernalia was found in that upstairs bedroom. Authorities say the Goodwins told social services they regularly use meth and admitted to leaving the child alone while they went upstairs to get high.

The Goodwins are set to be back in court for a preliminary hearing on December 14.

The death of Goodwin’s child is the second such death in central Kentucky in the past month.

Police say a Lexington 2-year-old overdosed on fentanyl and later died at a hospital. The child’s mother, Alashia Brown, was arrested and charged with murder and criminal abuse.

“The loss of life, especially of a young one, a child, is just so hard to digest and sometimes details around situations leave us wheeling for what can we do and I think one thing people can do is become a CASA volunteer,” said Melynda Jamison with CASA of Lexington.

CASA volunteers visit with children who are victims of abuse or neglect and have active family court cases to advocate and recommend what’s in the child’s best interest.

“When stress increases, unfortunately, child abuse and child neglect does and I know holiday time, end of year, can be a stressful time for some people,” said James. “So, if you factor that in, unfortunately, that means that child abuse and neglect rates are probably increasing at this time of year.”

If becoming a volunteer isn’t a good fit for you, Jamison recommends watching for signs of abuse and calling the CASA hotline if you see something concerning.