A Peach County grand jury has indicted a 40-year-old Kentucky woman on two counts of felony murder in the 2010 death of her daughter.
Traci Asberry, who also goes by the names of Traci Ann Allen and Traci Woods, is accused of giving methadone to her 8-year-old daughter, Hannah Bayne, which resulted in childs death, according to the May 13 indictment.
Felony murder is when someone dies in the commission of another felony. The two counts of felony murder stem from the underlying felonies of distribution of a controlled substance and cruelty to children in the second degree, according to the indictment.
The indictment states that Asberry with criminal negligence allowed the child to digest a lethal amount of methadone.
Peach County Coroner Kerry Rooks said Asberry and her daughter were staying at the Knights Inn at 2457 Ga. 247 Connector when Peach County Emergency Medical Service was dispatched in reference to an overdose Dec. 28, 2010. A GBI autopsy of the child attributed the cause of death to mixed-drug toxicity, but the manner of death was left as pending investigation, Rooks said. Manner of death can be natural, accidental or ruled a homicide.
Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney David Cooke said Warner Robins police investigated the death and issued a warrant for cruelty to children. Cooke said he could not comment on the facts of the case.
Asberry apparently posted bond on that charge, but then the case never moved forward. Cooke, who was sworn into office in late December 2012, said the case file was discovered in a drawer.
He said the case was reviewed and is now being aggressively prosecuted by his office.
We look forward to the day we can bring justice for Hannah, Cooke said.
Asberry was arrested Monday by the Lexington (Ky.) Police Department, said Sgt. Jennifer L. Taylor, public information officer for the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Community Corrections facility. Asberry was being held on a fugitive warrant from Georgia on the charge of murder, Taylor said. Asberrys bond was set at $500,000.
Asberry lives in Lexington and was apparently traveling through Middle Georgia on Interstate 75 when she and her daughter stayed at the hotel.
Cooke said Asberry will be extradited back to Georgia to face the felony murder charges.
Tabitha Pugh, public information officer for Warner Robins police, could not be reached for comment.
The hotel is located in Peach County but was also annexed by the city of Warner Robins, which is why multiple jurisdictions are involved in the investigation and prosecution of the case.
To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.