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Mother, father of toddler who overdosed on powerful drugs left within reach of her crib sentenced

Anna E. Raines, 30, and Jesse A. Gunn, 38, were sentenced to over a decade behind bars

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The mother and father of a Virginia toddler who fatally overdosed on a cocktail of drugs within reach of her cigarette and loose change-laden crib evaded murder charges in a plea deal, and will serve just over a decade apiece behind bars. 

Anna E. Raines, 30, and Jesse A. Gunn, 38, pleaded guilty to one count each of voluntary manslaughter and child abuse with a disregard for life last month. 

After initially arresting the couple on child abuse and neglect charges following their 22-month-old daughter's death last July, investigators with the York-Poquoson County Sheriff's Office tacked on felony homicide charges in October 2022, per court records reviewed by Fox News Digital. 

Anna E. Raines

Mother Anna E. Raines, 30, told police that she'd gone out to buy drugs and left her 22-month-old in the care of father Jesse A. Gunn. When she returned home about 8 hours later, she said, the child was dead. (York-Poquoson Sheriff's Office)

Raines' father, family pediatrician Timothy Lee Raines, 59, also faces felony child abuse charges, per court records. The elder Raines – who owned the Kiln Creek, Virginia home where the couple lived and their child died – will appear for a preliminary hearing in court on December 5, per court records. 

Raines told first responders arriving around 9:54 a.m. on July 7 that she had left the girl with Gunn around 8 hours earlier, per reporting by WAVY. 

The child was pronounced dead about six minutes later, and appeared to have been dead for some time, per court documents reviewed by Law & Crime. 

The scene was in absolute "disarray," police said, noting piles of clothing, trash, unclean dishes and a litterbox overflowing with feces. In the girl's crib were a pile of urine-soaked blankets, loose change and cigarette butts. 

Jesse A. Gunn

Both Raines and father Jesse A. Gunn, pictured, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and felony child abuse charges. (York-Poquoson Sheriff's Office)

The girl's diaper bag had drugs inside, and investigators found heroin and loaded syringes within reach of her crib, per 13 News Now. 

"It was particularly the area where the mother, the father and the baby were staying — in that one room," Major Ron Montgomery said following the arrests, per Law & Crime. "That was where the living conditions were really bad."

The Tidewater Chief Medical Examiner's office labeled the death an accident caused by an overdose of fentanyl and Xylazine. Nicotine exposure was also noted in the child's toxicology report, the York-Poquoson Sheriff's Office wrote in a press release at the time. 

Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail

Both Raines and Gunn have remained behind bars since their baby's death on July 7 last year at Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail, pictured. Raines will serve her 11-year sentence there, while Gunn has been transferred to Pamunkey Regional Jail. (Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail)

Xylazine is a sedative drug used on large animals like horses and cattle, and can be deadly to humans. Increasingly, the veterinary drug has been used to cut heroin, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. 

Both Raines and Gunn will serve 10 years each on their respective manslaughter charges and five years on their child abuse charges. Both parents will serve both terms consecutively, and be behind bars for just 11 years. 

Raines will do her time at Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail, where the two have waited to hear their sentences since the child's death; Gunn was transferred to Pamunkey Regional Jail, per online records. 

Both will also serve 10 years of post-release supervision, per Law & Crime. 

Christina Coulter is a U.S. and World reporter for Fox News Digital. Email story tips to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Authored by Christina Coulter via FoxNews November 13th 2023

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