The father of a toddler who died after ingesting fentanyl has been sentenced to serve up to 17 years in prison.

With a dozen members of Tyler Akright’s family and friends in the Scott County courtroom on Wednesday, Judge Jeffrey D. Bert sentenced the 26-year-old Davenport man on three charges to which Akright earlier pleaded guilty: Charges of child endangerment – serious injury, child endangerment – bodily injury, and child endangerment, records show.

Tyler Akright (Scott County Jail)

The judge said he had read letters of support from Akright’s family members, including his grandmother, parents, and aunt, as well as the director of programs at Scott County Jail, where Akright has been in custody.

Akright read a statement before the sentencing, referring to “my baby boy, who was a daddy’s boy – so sweet and innocent,” he said. “I loved my son so much.”

“My biggest mistake was bringing drugs into my home,” he said. “Most of my life I was a stable, honest working man.”

He discussed his addiction, and getting laid off from his job.

“I am not a monster,” he said, as several of his supporters in the courtroom cried quietly.

“It’s my understanding that your son was found to have fentanyl in his system that led to his death,” Judge Bert said. “That is correct,” Akright answered.

“Parents have an obligation to maintain and ensure the safety of their children,” Bert said. “Obviously, this is a tragedy.”

Because one of the charges is considered to be a forcible felony, the judge said, incarceration is mandatory. He sentenced Akright to 10 years for one charge, five years for another, and two years for the other, all to be served consecutively for a total of 17 years.

“This court knows Mr. Akright likely will not serve 17 years,” the judge said, adding that some of the sentence may be reduced because of time earned and his participation in programs.

The incident in August 2021

On Aug. 7, 2021, Davenport Police responded to the area of West 13th and Washington streets in reference to a toddler (31 months old) wandering alone in the alley at 2:22 a.m., arrest affidavits say. The back door to the residence where the child belonged was open.

According to affidavits, police allege that attempts to contact the residents were unsuccessful, so entry was made. Officers saw a handgun and a large amount of cash in plain view. Akright and Malea Wilson, the child’s mother, were on the second floor.

A consent search of the residence was conducted, according to affidavits. Officers found almost 800 grams of marijuana, 75 grams of psilocybin mushrooms, and 2.4 grams of cocaine.

During a search of a cell phone seized from the incident, police found a message stating Akright was in the process of obtaining 30 mg of “percs” (known to be mixed/cut with fentanyl). “Percs” refers to Percocet, a strong opioid used to treat pain after surgery or an injury. There were also conversations between Akright and Wilson about consuming and selling controlled substances at the residence, police allege in affidavits.

Malea Wilson (Scott County Jail)

The incident in October 2021

Affidavits say that on Oct. 11, 2021, police again were called to the residence on the 1300 block of West 13th Street in reference to a child not breathing. Akright and Wilson “did knowingly use and sell controlled substances at/from their residence, which would create substantial risk to the well-being and physical safety of the victim, who was their 22-month-old son. As a result of this risk, the victim was pronounced deceased,” police allege in affidavits.

The cause of death, affidavits say, was later discovered as an acute drug – fentanyl – intoxication. Akright and the co-defendant “stated they were with the decedent and his brother for the entire day leading up to the death, and no one else was with them or at their residence.” Drug tests were completed on both children, affidavits say, and both tested positive for cocaine, methamphetamine and THC.

Malea Wilson is set to appear Thursday in Scott County Court.

About fentanyl

Fentanyl is a strong opioid used as a pain medication. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. It is a major contributor to fatal and nonfatal overdoses in the United States