The mother of a Davenport toddler who died after ingesting illegal drugs wants to withdraw a guilty plea, while the child’s father has received a letter of support from his own mother, court records show.
The 26-year-old parents are set for two separate hearings in mid-November in Scott County Court, according to court records.
Earlier, Tyler Akright and Malea Wilson pleaded guilty to charges of child endangerment – serious injury, child endangerment – bodily injury, and child endangerment, records show.
In a handwritten document, Wilson asks that she be allowed to retract her guilty plea “and all statements made upon accepting the plea offer on September 21, 2023.”
According to court documents, Wilson says she became confused during the plea proceeding and misunderstood the questions from prosecuting attorneys during the hearing.
Previously, she was set for sentencing on Nov. 16 in Scott County Court. That hearing now will address her request to retract her guilty plea, court documents say.
‘We all miss him.’ A mother supports her son
In a letter dated Oct. 9, Akright’s mother wrote a letter in support of her son. She describes the family dynamics:
“Tyler and Malea hung out with family on weekends. We went to football games and had cookouts. Tyler didn’t drop his kids off to babysitters to go out to the bars and go partying. He didn’t miss a family gathering. We all miss him, and he will have a huge family support system when he gets out. I just beg you to please look at the evidence you have and see that he did not have fentanyl in his home, never have been caught with those drugs, and never tested positive for those drugs.”
“I know taking pleas mean that you have to plea guilty to charges even if you’re innocent and I know its eating them up inside and I know they were scared,” she writes.
Her son, she says, “had a great job that he loved. He paid his bills and was trying to be a decent member in the community.”
She had her son when she was 15, she writes in the letter. “There isn’t a day that goes by that I wish I would have done better for him. He broke the cycle on teen pregnancy that ran in my family and graduated high school and didn’t have his first child until he was twenty. Please consider probation for the misdemeanor charge and running the other charges concurrent.”
She signs the letter as “a desperate mom.”
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 Wilson 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 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.
Akright is set for sentencing Nov. 15 in Scott County Court.