30ºF

Man charged after toddler dies from fentanyl intoxication in Port Huron, officials say

Damonte Rice arraigned on on manslaughter, drug charges

Damonte Russell Rice is charged in the death of Zai-Ahna Reddic (WDIV)

PORT HURON, Mich. – A man has been charged with manslaughter for handling powdered drugs inside a home where a 14-month-old girl died of fentanyl intoxication, according to Port Huron police.

Police said they received a 911 call at 1:34 a.m. on Aug. 25 from a mother saying her child, Zai-Ahna Reddic, was not breathing. The child was in a vehicle on the way to McLaren Port Huron Hospital, officials said.

Medical officials tried to save the child, but they were unsuccessful, police said.

Investigators learned the child had been playing at a home in the 1300 block of Division Street and stopped breathing shortly after leaving the home.

Damonte Russell Rice, 27, lived at the home and had been handling powdered drugs, according to authorities.

Damonte Russell Rice

Autopsy results showed Zai-Ahna died from fentanyl intoxication, officials said.

Rice was arrested Monday in Detroit and taken to the St. Clair County Intervention Center.

He was arraigned Wednesday on charges of involuntary manslaughter, controlled substance -- second or subsequent offense and controlled substance -- maintaining a drug house.

The manslaughter charge carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison, officials said.

Zai'Ahna Reddic (WDIV)

Rice is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail.

A probable cause conference is scheduled for Dec. 17.


About the Author: