An apartment house at 26 Oak St. in Oakland is shown in November. A woman living in an apartment there called 911 Nov. 2 when her 14-month-old son suffered a medical emergency, Maine State Police said. The child later died at a hospital. The woman, Ashley Malloy, pleaded not guilty to charges in connection with the child’s death. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel file

AUGUSTA — An Oakland woman charged with manslaughter in connection with the drug-induced death of her 14-month-old son denied the charges on Monday.

The death of Ashley Malloy’s son, 14-month-old Karson Malloy, has been ruled a homicide, according to state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner officials, who said the cause of his death was determined to be complications of bowel obstruction due to the combined effects of fentanyl and tramadol.

Malloy, 21, remains out on bail after pleading not guilty to a charge of manslaughter and three counts of aggravated trafficking in schedule W drugs — one count each of trafficking in fentanyl powder, methamphetamine, and cocaine. All four charges are felony-level Class A crimes, punishable by up to 30 years in prison, $50,000 in fines and four years probation.

Malloy didn’t speak in court Monday other than to answer questions from Superior Court Justice William Stokes, answering “not guilty” each time when asked how she pleaded on the four counts against her.

Her lawyer, John Pelletier, has said previously that “Ashley loved Karson very much, and she’s extremely distraught about his loss.”

Malloy called 911 on Nov. 2, 2021, to say her son was suffering from a medical emergency. Maine State Police said last November that while investigating the death of Karson Malloy they found fentanyl, crack cocaine and other illicit drugs in the Oakland apartment where he lived with his mother Ashley Malloy.


The child was taken to Northern Light Inland Hospital in Waterville, where he was pronounced dead, state police said at the time.

Investigators then obtained a search warrant for the Oak Street apartment where Karson lived with his mother and allegedly found more than 5 pounds of fentanyl, more than a pound of crack, more than 100 grams methamphetamine and about $2,200 in cash, police said at the time. The street value of the drugs was estimated at $700,000.

Stokes said all three drug trafficking charges were raised to the most serious Class A level due to the quantities of each drug involved.

The state Attorney General’s Office had initially instructed the medical examiner’s office that the cause of death be withheld, but the cause was released in response to a public records request from the Kennebec Journal after Malloy’s arraignment Monday afternoon at the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta.

Malloy was indicted in March, about four months after her son died. The indictment, which is not a finding of guilt but indicates enough evidence exists for a case to go forward toward trial, states Ashley Malloy “did recklessly or with criminal negligence cause the death of Karson Malloy.”

The state is also seeking the forfeiture of $2,262 from Malloy, alleging the money authorities seized from the apartment was involved in drug trafficking.

Malloy is out on unsecured bail of $5,000 while awaiting trial. At the request of Lisa Bogue, an assistant state attorney general, bail conditions were placed upon Malloy including that she have no contact with children under 6 years old, secure a Maine Pretrial Services agreement for her supervision while on bail and abide by a curfew from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., requiring her to remain at home other than for medical treatment or employment.

The next step in the case is a status conference planned for October.

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