A Bismarck woman has been charged in Stark County with three counts of felony child endangerment.
Sierra Rose Toroitich, 25, appeared before Judge Dann Greenwood in Stark Count District Court on five counts total.
Toroitich was charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, both Class A misdemeanors, and three counts of endangerment of a child, two Class C felonies and one Class B felony.
Toroitich, along with her brother and her three children, checked into a Dickinson hotel and brought with them "a mixture of controlled substances," Assistant State's Attorney Amanda Engelstad said.
"(She) had smoked some marijuana while at the hotel and proceeded to take a nap along with her eight-month-old child," she said. "On that bed was a package of a mixture of heroin and fentanyl. The child got into that and subsequently overdosed."
According to Engelstad, Toroitich did not call an ambulance.
"It was a lucky situation that the children's father happened to come to the hotel when he did," she said. "He does not live here. He had put them up in a hotel so he could visit with his children."
The child was unresponsive and not breathing, and the father called 911, Engelstad said.
"The child had to be administered narcan (a narcotic overdose treatment), and was taken to the hospital," she said.
The brother, identified in the criminal complaint as Lawrence J. Bearking in the criminal complaint, is believed to have brought the drugs, Engelstad said. Bearking fled the scene, and there is a warrant for his arrest.
"We have not found him yet," she said.
In North Dakota, a Class B felony carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail and a $20,000 fine, and a Class C felony carries a maximum sentence of five years in jail and a $10,000 fine.
A Class A misdemeanor carries a maximum sentence of 360 days in jail and $3,000 in fines.
Bond was set at $100,000 cash because of the "nature of the case" and Toroitich's criminal record, Engelstad said, which includes possession with intent to deliver, simple assault on a peace officer, and driving under suspension.
Toroitich is also currently on probation.
"The defendant does not have an insignificant criminal history. It's actually quite significant for her age," she said. "(It's) based on the circumstances, and the fact that she didn't call medical help. Had the father not come when he did, we might be having a different hearing."
Engelstad requested Toroitich have no contact with her three children.
Toroitich erupted in tears and protested the order.
"I'm a great mom," Toroitich said. "My phone was charging. That's the only reason I didn't call the police. I had the baby in my hands. I was screaming. I didn't know what to do. He fled! He took off! I don't have a problem with any of my kids."
She added, "I have to have contact with my kids. They're my kids!"
Greenwood upheld the state's bond recommendation, he said, because of the severity of the crime, because Toroitich has no apparent ties to the community, and her history of a failure to appear.
"The court thinks there has to be some significant bond," he said.
Greenwood also upheld the no contact order because of the charge that "one of the children was placed in extreme danger and possible risk of death."
A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Dec. 2, at Stark County Courthouse, 51 Third St. E.