On Thursday, the 26-year-old mother of a toddler who died after ingesting fentanyl was sentenced to serve up to 17 years in prison.
Malea Wilson’s family and friends were in the Scott County courtroom for the brief sentencing hearing. Earlier, Wilson had pleaded guilty to charges of child endangerment – serious injury, child endangerment – bodily injury, and child endangerment, records show.
The judge said he had read letters of support from Wilson’s family and friends. “Please take into consideration the things she has done after the incident, and while in jail waiting to be
sentenced. She is trying and wants to do better. She has two children that would do well if she could be a part of their lives …. She is a good person, who has made some poor choices. I know Malea would do well if given a second chance,” one friend said in a letter.
Wilson was sentenced to a total of 17 years for the charges. The sentences of 10, five and two years will be served consecutively, or one after another.
Wilson did not read a statement. But she did wave to her supporters and make a heart sign with her hands as she was led from the courtroom. The judge said she will be transported to Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville, Iowa.
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, and officers saw a handgun and a large amount of cash in plain view. Tyler Akright and Wilson, the child’s parents, 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.
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 Wilson “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.
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