Croton-on-Hudson woman charged in death of 6-year-old daughter

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015
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Stacey Sager has the latest details

CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. (WABC) -- A Westchester County mother surrendered to police Wednesday in connection with the Easter death of her 6-year-old daughter.

Kathleen Dymes refused to comment Wednesday as she was led from the Croton-on-Hudson police station to the Westchester County Courthouse. She was in a wheelchair and had a brace on her leg, and police helped her into a waiting vehicle.

Lacey Carr was found in her bed on April 5. Her father, David Carr, who lived elsewhere, called 911 when he could not wake her. She was pronounced dead at a hospital. Authorities say Dymes, a nurse, was unconscious on the floor next to her daughter's bed. She was hospitalized for nearly two months.

Now, prosecutors say toxicology reports show that Lacey Carr had 10 times the therapeutic level of morphine and diphenhydramine in her body. And sadly, that barely scratches the surface.

A search warrant was executed after the incident, and in the second floor bedroom, where the body of Lacey Carr was discovered, police observed an open bottle of alcohol along with various and numerous over-the-counter prescription and illegal drugs strewn about the room.

"There was a kitchen knife, a bottle of alcohol," Westchester County Assistant DA Doreen Lloyd said. "Pills strewn on the floor, heroin under the bed."

Dymes is now charged with criminally negligent homicide, endangering the welfare of a child and criminal possession of a controlled substance.

"As alleged in the indictment, this defendant failed in her most basic role as a mother and caregiver: to ensure the safety and well-being of her child," District Attorney Janet DiFiore said. "As a former nurse, she could know only too well the dosage and interactions of the drugs her daughter had ingested that lead to her death."

But Dymes' attorney countered that these discoveries does not prove his client was negligent in the child's death.

"What I'm not hearing from the prosecutor is what my client did that was criminally negligent that cause her daughter's death," defense attorney Peter Tilem said. "We all have things in our house, and a 6-year-old is not a 3-year-old. This is a big girl. I have not heard any evidence this was anything that my client did."

In addition, two handwritten notes were recovered from the bedroom.

Dymes is currently in a rehabilitation facility.

Bail was set at $25,000 cash or bond, and she faces a maximum sentence of four years in prison if convicted.