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Court of Appeals overturns Suffolk mother’s involuntary manslaughter conviction

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Posted at 6:45 PM, Jun 05, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-05 18:45:51-04

Suffolk, Va. - A jury found Lakesha Artis guilty of involuntary manslaughter back in 2014.

But this week the court of appeals of Virginia overturned that verdict.

Two-year-old Destiney Riddick was playing when she took pills out of a candy dish and ate them.

The little girl thought she was eating candy.

Instead, it was Suboxone, a prescription drug used to treat opiate addictions.

Only Destiny's grandmother and step-grandfather were home at the time.

Lakesha was at work.

She met Destiney at the hospital and hours later the child was released.

Later that night, Lakesha decided not to take Destiney back to the hospital when she got a fever.

The commonwealth's attorney argued that showed criminal negligence.

The appeals judges didn't agree.

As for the adults who were home when Destiney took the pills, both Kimberly Artis and Steven Bullock pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter.

The decision from the court of appeals does not impact their cases.