Kelsey Carpenter on her Facebook page
In 2010, when Kelsey Shande Carpenter was 20 years old, she was arrested for possession of heroin and burglary. “She has been dealing with drug addiction for over ten years,” a prosecutor said in court last week.
In 2013 Carpenter gave birth, but that child was removed from her custody because the baby tested positive for drugs. Early in 2020 she gave birth again, but Child Protective Services removed her second child when that baby tested positive for narcotics.
Carpenter must have immediately become pregnant again, because she gave birth to a third child in November 2020.
Carpenter was 30 years old when she gave birth to her baby girl five months ago. Although her mother and other persons aware of her situation begged her to get pre-natal care and to have a medically-assisted birth, “she refused to do this as she was aware that CPS would likely take this child away, as they have previously done with her prior two other children,” a prosecutor said in court last week.
The young mother instead gave birth to her third child while alone in her Oceanside apartment. That morning, Carpenter cut the umbilical cord herself and tried to stop the bleeding by putting a piece of scotch tape over the baby’s belly button, and then a diaper on the baby. But the newborn girl bled to death, according to the prosecutor.
Carpenter sent multiple text messages and a photograph of her new baby, the prosecutor said, but she did not call 911 “until the baby was practically dead.” The deceased infant tested positive for high levels of methamphetamine and Buprenorphine, allegedly.
Carpenter was arrested by Oceanside police on March 23, 2021, and was in custody three weeks.
Prosecutor Chantal De Mauregne has charged Carpenter with murder and felony child abuse, for the death of the girl who died the day she was born, on November 15, 2020.
At a 40-minute court hearing last Friday, April 9, the defendant had a new, private defense attorney, Brian White. White disputed facts alleged by the prosecutor.
Attorney White asserted that Carpenter was getting treatment for opioid addiction at the Mission Treatment methadone clinic, and when she became pregnant they gave her the drug Buprenorphine, “which is better for the fetus.”
Attorney White said the un-attended birth was “extremely painful” and “she collapsed from exhaustion, (then) when she came to, the child was not responding.” He suggested “this highly unfortunate and tragic incident” was “more like” criminal negligence than murder.
The prosecutor argued for $1 million bail, because Carpenter is charged with murder and faces a possible Life sentence. “That poses a flight risk,” prosecutor De Mauregne said.
Honorable judge David Berry granted Kelsey Carpenter release from custody on her own recognizance, after he made a long list of strict conditions, which included: She must not take any drugs at all without a valid prescription from a physician licensed in the state of California; she is allowed no alcohol whatsoever at any time; she must submit to random drug testing and searches; she will enroll in SCRAM with both drug and narcotic monitoring plus GPS; she cannot leave San Diego County nor the state of California without a court order.
Carpenter's next court appearance is set for April 21, in department 6, at 8:30 a.m. in the Vista courthouse.