Not guilty plea in girl’s death

Published 10:26 pm Friday, June 14, 2013

A Suffolk mother is set to go on trial in October after pleading not guilty Friday to charges stemming from the death of her 2-year-old daughter.

Lakesha Lanika Riddick, 32, of Stacey Drive, is charged with second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and abuse and neglect of children. Her daughter, Destiny Riddick, died on July 17, 2011, after ingesting suboxone pills she found at the home of her step-grandmother and her boyfriend. The pills, which are used to combat opiate dependence, had been purchased on the street.

Steven Wade Bullock and Kimberly Denise Artis already have pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and other charges and are serving prison sentences.

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In a search warrant, investigators accused the child’s mother, Lakesha Riddick, of failing to return her daughter to the hospital after she became ill.

The girl had been taken to the hospital after she was found to have ingested the pills. After three hours of observation, the girl was released to her mother, according to the search warrant, and Artis was instructed to return her daughter to the hospital if she developed any symptoms like agitation, restlessness or fever.

Artis allegedly later said the girl displayed the symptoms, but Artis did not take her back to the hospital, according to the search warrant.

The statement adds that the girl fell asleep at 4 a.m. and was found dead at 8:30 a.m.

The trial is set for Oct. 28-31.