Forsyth prosecutor: Mother took drugs and partied in a motel room. Her 13-month-old son died of a drug overdose. – Winston-Salem Journal

A Stokes County woman used drugs and partied all night in a Winston-Salem motel in April 2020 while her 13-month-old son somehow ingested a fatal dose of fentanyl, a Forsyth County prosecutor said Friday.
Amber Dawn Martin, 32, pleaded guilty to one count of involuntary manslaughter on Friday in Forsyth Superior Court, Assistant District Attorney Elisabeth Dresel said. The charge was in connection to the death of her son, True Reign Lash, on April 30, 2020.
Judge David Hall of Forsyth Superior Court sentenced Martin to a minimum of 1 year, 5 months and a maximum of 2 years, 5 months in prison.
Martin and the boy’s father, Eric Donnell Lash, who was 47 at the time, were renting a room at the Ramada Inn at 531 Akron Drive in Winston-Salem. Dresel said the couple had been staying at the motel for several days before True Lash’s death. True Lash and his brother, who was 5 at the time, were also staying in the motel room.
On the night of April 29, 2020, Martin and Eric Lash were listening to music and dancing for several hours. Amber Mabe told Winston-Salem police that she and her boyfriend went to the motel room that night and saw food, drinks and drugs, including lines of heroin that she saw Martin and Lash snort.
Her boyfriend, at one point, went into the bathroom and used heroin, and Eric Lash had used cocaine and marijuana. Mabe said she and her boyfriend stayed at the motel room for just a few hours before leaving.
At 9 a.m. on April 30, 2020, Amber Martin gave True Lash a sippy cup full of milk and a biscuit. The child had fallen asleep on the floor of the motel room overnight. Eric Lash placed True Lash and his older brother on the bed, Dresel said.
Then Amber Martin and Eric Lash continued listening to music and dancing for several more hours, Dresel said.
Around 2 p.m. on April 30, 2020, Martin and Eric Lash noticed that True Lash was unresponsive and that his feet appeared blue.
Winston-Salem police received a 911 call around 2:30 p.m. and went to the motel room. Martin and Eric Lash were doing CPR on their son until police and paramedics arrived. True Lash was pronounced dead at the scene, Dresel said.
Dresel said both Martin and Eric Lash told police that there was no way that their children had any access to drugs. True Lash’s brother showed no signs that he had ingested any drugs.
Amber Mabe, however, told police that she had seen True Lash going around different parts of the motel room. Police seized several used and new syringes as well as other drug paraphernalia from the room. Residue on the syringes and the drug paraphernalia tested positive for fentanyl.
Investigations learned on March 3, 2021 from the N.C. Medical Examiner’s Office that True died from fentanyl toxicity.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid used to treat severe pain. The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control say the drug is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.
Dresel said Martin has been previously convicted four times of misdemeanor child abuse and that at the time of the April 2020 incident, she no longer had custody of her other children.
She has since given up her parental rights for True’s older brother, Dresel said.
Eric Lash died of a drug overdose on Feb. 3, 2021. As a result of his death, prosecutors did not pursue criminal charges against him.
Dresel said that Martin read a letter in court Friday, taking responsibility for her actions. She said in the letter that she had struggled with drug addiction but had relapsed two months before True died. Martin told the court that she had tried to be a good mother.
Dan Wanderman, her attorney, could not be reached for comment Friday.
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