Neighbor recounts chaos around baby's overdose

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News
From right: Attorney Shawn Patrick Smith with his client Rebecca May, unidentified attorney and his client Quentin Roosevelt May during preliminary examination at 23rd District Court in Taylor on Monday. The couple are charged in the overdose death of their infant great-grandson.

Taylor -- The former next-door neighbor of a Taylor couple charged in the overdose death of their great-grandson last fall described a chaotic scene at the pair's home during efforts to save the child's life.

Terri Thoresen testified Monday during the first day of a preliminary examination in  23rd District Court for Rebecca Ann May, 52, and her husband Quentin Roosevelt May, 65. Thorsesen said she called 911 when Rebecca May screamed for her help in trying to save the couple's 10-month-old great-grandson, Du'Wan Langhan, who was found on the floor of the Mays' home on Wilkie Street about 3:24 p.m. Oct. 5.

Thoresen said Quentin May had the baby in his arms when she came into the couple's home and called 911. Thoresen said she gave the child CPR while a friend, Justin Jenkins, did chest compressions.

Thoresen said the baby was "limp ... listless" and was not moving.  

"(Rebecca May) wasn't handling it well," said Thorensen.  "She was totally distraught." 

She said Quentin May rendered first aid to his great-grandchild "as best he could."

"I do not believe these people intentionally hurt that child," Thoresen said.

Jenkins testified the Mays "didn't grasp the situation."

"They didn't know what to do," Jenkins said. "(Quentin Mays) was distraught too."

The child was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office determined that the infant died from ingesting drugs that were prescribed to the great-grandparents: Cyclobenzaprine, a muscle relaxer, and methadone. The medical examiner has ruled the death a homicide.

Methadone is an opioid that is used to treat pain and addiction to heroin or narcotic painkillers.

Assistant Wayne County Medical Examiner Dr. David Moons testified Monday that the amount of methadone the child ingested would "most definitely" be fatal to an infant. Moons said he could not determine what amount of Cyclobenzaprine would be fatal to a young child because of a lack of literature on it.

Moons said he could not determine when the narcotics were ingested by the child but that he had been told that the child may have taken medication found on a bed in the home.

The preliminary examination will resume  at 2 p.m. July 2.

The Mays allegedly "failed to store and/or maintain their medications in a safe manner," according to the prosecutor's office, which alleges the couple also failed to "provide a safe environment" for their great-grandson.

The couple were charged with one count of involuntary manslaughter and one count of second-degree child abuse.