A Grantsville man and his mother face charges in 3rd District Court connected to the death of the man’s 18-month-old daughter in December 2012.
Brandon Kimber, 34, was charged with child abuse homicide, a second-degree felony, during a court appearance Monday. The state Attorney General’s office took over prosecution in the case during his appearance in court Tuesday morning.
Kimber had previously been charged with negligent homicide and reckless endangerment, both misdemeanors, in Grantsville City justice court. Both charges were dismissed without prejudice on a motion by Grantsville City during a pretrial conference Tuesday afternoon in 3rd District Court in favor of the felony charge.
Kimber’s mother, Tracie Holbert, is charged with negligent homicide and reckless endangerment and her charges will remain with the Grantsville City justice court. Holbert, 53, will appear again in court on April 21 for a pretrial hearing.
According to a probable cause statement, Grantsville City police were called to an unattended death on Dec. 6, 2012. Officers found Kimber’s 18-month-old daughter in her crib, where Holbert had found her unresponsive; the child was later determined dead by emergency responders, the statement said.
A toxicology report from Feb. 13, 2013 found the child, identified by the initials E.K. in the statement, had died from drug toxicity. According to the statement, the Utah Medical Examiner’s Office found the levels of hydrocodone and alprazolam in the child’s system were high enough to kill an adult male.
Hydrocodone is an opioid painkiller and alprazolam is used to treat anxiety, anxiety disorders and panic disorders.
Holbert had prescriptions for both hydrocodone and alprazolam and Kimber had a prescription for alprazolam; both kept their prescription medication in the house. Kimber and Holbert were the only people in the house in the time leading up to E.K.’s death, according to the probable cause statement.
In the statement, Kimber said he had taken his daughter out of her crib and held her because she was snoring loudly.
When police examined the house, they found pills Holbert left in a zip-close bag on her nightstand to take in the morning. Holbert told police she was not missing any of the pills the morning of her granddaughter’s death, the probable cause statement said.
The charge Kimber faces carry a potential sentence of up to 15 years in prison. Holbert could serve a maximum of one year for each of the misdemeanor charges against her.
Roll call for Kimber was scheduled for April 21 at 1:30 p.m in the Tooele County Courts complex.