Woman pleads guilty in meth death of baby

PORTLAND – An eastern Indiana woman whose three-month-old son died last year from methamphetamine intoxication has agreed to plead guilty to a neglect charge in the infant’s death.

Jennifer Young

Jennifer F. Young, 35, would plead guilty to neglect of a dependent resulting in death if a Jay County judge accepts her plea agreement at a May 17 hearing.

The Portland woman’s sentence would be capped at 20 years and prosecutors would dismiss charges of possessing meth and possessing paraphernalia she faces, The Star Press reported.

Police were called in March 2020 on a report of a baby not breathing at an apartment in Portland, about 90 miles (145 kilometers) northeast of Indianapolis.

After Hayden Markle was pronounced dead at a hospital, an autopsy determined the infant died as a result of “acute methamphetamine intoxication,” according to court records.

Ryan Markle

The baby’s father, 40-year-old Ryan A. Markle, faces the same three charges as Young in the infant’s death.

He was convicted of dealing in meth in 2013, the same year that Young was also convicted of dealing in meth and two counts of neglect of a dependent.