2-month old tests positive for drugs; parents arrested

Jachin Haltiwanger and Ashley Barton (courtesy photos)

WINSTON COUNTY    - A 2-month-old girl has tested positive for multiple controlled substances after being exposed to drug use by her parents, who now face child endangerment charges.
Charged with chemical endangerment of a child are the child’s mother, Ashley Elizabeth Barton, 27, and her father, Jachin Amen Haltiwanger, 30, both of Haleyville, according to Winston County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Josh Bennett.
Haltiwanger was also found in possession of methamphetamine and marijuana, discovered  on his person, leading to charges of unlawful possession of controlled substance and unlawful possession of marijuana, Bennett added.
Haltiwanger already faced a warrant for harassment from a previous case, according to Bennett.
Haltiwanger had a user amount of both meth and marijuana on his person, according to Sheriff’s Office Investigator Josh Edwards.
“It upsets me a lot to know that you have a helpless baby that doesn’t really have a choice of who her parents are and doesn’t have a choice of what environments she’s placed in,” Bennett pointed out.
“When it comes to crimes against children, I take it very, very seriously,” Bennett added. “I will do absolutely everything to get justice for those kids.
“If you are going to harm a child in any shape, form or fashion in Winston County, I will  100 percent investigate it to the fullest and get you prosecuted for those crimes against those children,” Bennett pointed out.
“I will seek justice to the fullest extent,” he continued. “There is no excuse for it.”
Barton was also charged with two felony failure to appear warrants, he added.
Around 3:45 p.m. April 15, Bennett, along with Sheriff Caleb Snoddy, Edwards, Sgt. Eric Faith and Deputy Jessie Todd converged at a residence on County Road 15 where Haltiwanger and Barton were believed to have been residing, seeking them on active warrants, Bennett stated.
Authorities went to the door of the residence, where an elderly female informed them that both Haltiwanger and Barton had gone to a nearby residence on County Road 461, so authorities went there seeking the suspects, investigators said.
Responding to the scene, authorities found Haltiwanger and Barton, as well as their two-month-old daughter inside the residence, Bennett said.
Haltiwanger and Barton each has a case pending against them from the Winston County Department of Human Resources which had already placed the infant into the custody of a family member before this incident occurred, investigators said.
“A safety plan had already been put in place by DHR for her to be with the grandmother, but they had violated that safety plan because they had taken the baby on their own without the grandmother being with them,” Bennett pointed out.
“So, they took that baby away and violated that safety plan to begin with,” Bennett added.
Law enforcement contacted DHR due to narcotics being found on Haltiwanger at the time of his arrest, according to Bennett.
Haltiwanger, Barton and the infant each were found to have multiple drugs in their systems, Bennett said.
Urine samples from both Haltiwanger and Barton, as well as hair follicle samples from the couple plus the baby determined each had multiple drugs in the system, investigators said.
“That proved all three failed the drug test,” Bennett noted. Substances found in the infant, as well as Haltiwanger’s systems included amphetamine, methamphetamine and THC (a chemical in marijuana), according to investigators.
Barton failed a drug test for amphetamine and methamphetamine, investigators added.
“From the results that were given, it was quite a substantial amount in the baby,” Bennett emphasized.
“It’s upsetting,” Bennett pointed out. “A two-month-old baby can barely hold their head up.”
DHR is working on another safety plan for the custody of the infant, according to law enforcement.
Haltiwanger and Barton were transported to the Winston County Jail in Double Springs, according to investigators.

*When a defendant is charged with a crime, the charge is merely an accusation until or unless proven guilty in a court of law.


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