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Boyfriend arrested, mother charged after her child died from possible fentanyl overdose

Posted at 5:46 AM, May 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-26 06:46:29-04

MILWAUKEE — The boyfriend of a Milwaukee mother, who has been criminally charged after her 5-year-old child likely died from a fentanyl overdose, was arrested over the weekend.

Oliver Smith, 25, was charged with second-degree reckless homicide (as a party to a crime), neglecting a child (consequence is death, as a party to a crime), and two counts of felony bail jumping. The maximum sentence for the charges is more than 60 years in prison.

Police say 24-year-old Kanesha L. Jones admitted that her boyfriend, identified as Smith, was packaging drugs in her kitchen and that both of her children may have been exposed.

A criminal complaint states in February of 2022 Kanesha's sister, Tahanee, was charged after her son ingested fentanyl and had to be hospitalized for two days. The state then required her children to be placed in the care of her sister Kanesha.

Then on May 11, the Milwaukee Fire Department responded to a home on 37th Street. Inside they found the 5-year-old child unresponsive and not breathing. The child was pronounced dead shortly afterward. A toxicology test found a lethal amount of fentanyl in the 5-year-old's system.

Smith was arrested on Saturday after leading police on a high-speed chase following a drug deal, according to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday. Smith fled on foot after the car became damaged and sustained a flat tire. After being apprehended, police found numerous illicit substances and firearms in the vehicle involved in the chase and drug deal. This included heroin, cocaine, fentanyl, and four firearms, the complaint states.

Kanesha told police in an interview that the child attended school that morning and returned home appearing exhausted. The child took a nap. That evening Kanesha's sister came over to babysit.

Kanesha said she then left to go grocery shopping. When she returned home, she found her child in her bedroom not breathing and that his lips were blue. She then called 911.

Police found marijuana in the home and asked Kanesha about drug use. She said she tried to get rid of a blunt before police arrived.

Kanesha also told police a total of four children were in the home, two of hers and two of Tahanee's.

During a search of Kanesha's home, police said they found small bags of what tests later confirmed to be fentanyl.

The sister who babysat told police that Kanesha's boyfriend and his two brothers were over when Kanesha was away grocery shopping. The sister admitted they all smoked marijuana, but not around the children. The sister said that both of Kanesha's children were not feeling well that night.

Kanesha later denied the boyfriend and his brothers were over. Kanesha identified her boyfriend as "Little Baby", "Paylow" and "Oliver Smith." Smith is facing two separate drug charges as well as a homicide charge, according to the complaint.

During a 2nd interview with police, Kanesha said Smith sells drugs including "dope," described as "large white chunky substance that was like powder, but 'not powdery,'" the complaint states.

Kanesha continued that she knew Smith and his two brothers were inside her home packaging his drugs in the kitchen.

Kanesha said she suspected that after the 5-year-old died that he had been exposed to the drugs. She brought her other child to the hospital to check if they had been exposed as well.

Bond was set for Kanesha at $15,000. Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 31.

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