Macomb County prosecutor charges parents in Christmas Day murder of 18-month-old

Evidence of manufacturing narcotics found in parents' home

Macomb County prosecuting attorney Eric Smith.

MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. - On Monday, the Macomb County Prosecutor's Office authorized charges of second-degree murder for the parents of Ava Floyd, an 18-month-old baby. 

The couple was arrainged Monday afternoon. During the arraignment a judge denied bond for Antonio Floyd and his children’s 27-year-old mother, Shantanice Barksdale. 

On Christmas morning, Floyd, 28, and Barksdale, were at their home in Clinton Township, along with their three children.

That afternoon they took the children to their grandmother's home in Warren. A short time later, Ava Floyd stopped breathing.

The toddler was taken to St. John Macomb Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 3:31 p.m. No signs of trauma or abuse were observed by the hospital staff.

The medical examiner’s office notified Warren police that the baby had an extraordinary level of the narcotic Fentanyl in her system at the time of death.  

On Jan. 10 law enforcement officers executed search warrants on the grandmother’s home in Warren, as well as the parents’ home in Clinton Township. Police uncovered evidence of manufacturing and distributing narcotics inside Floyd and Barksdale’s home. 

An investigation led authorities to believe that the couple was involved in drug trafficking and was using the Clinton Township home to process and package Fentanyl for distribution.

“The nation is experiencing an opioid epidemic,” said Macomb County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Smith. “However, to see an infant experience such a tragic death on Christmas morning as a result of ingesting a large quantity of her parents’ Fentanyl is truly gut-wrenching. This type of criminal behavior will be met with the full weight of this prosecutor's office.”

The couple has been charged with second-degree murder, delivering and manufacturing of controlled substances, manslaughter, second-degree child abuse and felony firearm.

Floyd, a convicted felon, is also being charged with additional counts of felon in possession of a weapon and felony firearm.