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Parents charged after infant daughter tests positive for meth

Two parents face charges after their then-3-month-old girl tested positive for methamphetamine ingestion last year, newly released court documents show.

An arrest warrant accuses Jesus Humberto Garza III and Miranda Lial of allowing their daughter to ingest meth in November. Prosecutors charged the pair with child abuse resulting in substantial bodily harm and use of a controlled substance in the presence of a child.

They took her to Henderson Hospital on Nov. 26, a year to the day after another infant of theirs had died, Garza’s warrant said.

Garza told Child Protective Services he and Lial had been using meth in a bathroom immediately before the infant — in an adjoining bedroom — became symptomatic, the warrant said. Lial told police they used meth Nov. 24, adding that she swept their infant’s mouth with her finger but didn’t know how their daughter was exposed to the drug.

“Lial confirmed she may have had methamphetamine on her finger and confirmed that Garza may have contaminated the victim’s bottle by having methamphetamine on his hands while preparing the victim’s bottle,” the warrant said.

They took their child to the hospital, but Lial told police Garza didn’t want to take their daughter to the hospital and “snatched” the infant from her as she moved toward the door, the warrant said.

“Garza reportedly told (Lial) she was being crazy” because of the anniversary of the other child’s death, the warrant said. He told a child protective services specialist that Lial often claimed the girl wasn’t breathing correctly since their child’s death in 2016.

Jaxson Jesselee Lial-Garza, a 4-month-old boy, died Nov. 26, 2016, during a family camping trip at Lake Mead National Recreation Area, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported at the time. He died of asphyxia, and his death was ruled an accident, according to the Clark County coroner’s office.

The boy’s mother, identified as Miranda Lial, wrote in a GoFundMe page she created that she, her husband and her five children, including Jaxson, slept together in a tent while camping the night of Nov. 25. She awoke the next morning to find Jaxson “motionless, with a blank lifeless stare,” the post said.

Lial and Garza took their daughter to the hospital Nov. 26, 2017. She arrived at the hospital limp and lethargic, with her head and eyes “deviated to the right” and an irregular heart rate, Garza’s warrant said.

A doctor told the two that their child had tested positive for methamphetamine, Lial told police. She told police Garza had “no reaction” when the doctor informed them of the positive test.

The girl was taken to University Medical Center. Garza was supposed to follow the ambulance there in their car, Lial told police, but he never showed.

Police and child protective services had tried unsuccessfully several times to reach Garza as of Dec. 4, when the warrant was executed.

Officers stopped Garza on Aug. 19 while he was riding a bicycle without a headlight, a declaration of arrest said. They arrested him on his child abuse warrant.

He was released on his own recognizance Tuesday on the condition he complies with child protective services directives, court records show. An attempt to reach his court-appointed attorney was not returned Thursday night.

Lial has posted bond, court records show. They each have a preliminary hearing set for Sept. 10.

Lial has a public defender, and attorney Daren Richards said the office was preparing for the preliminary hearing.

Contact Mike Shoro at mshoro@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5290. Follow @mike_shoro on Twitter.

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