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Phoenix mother Natalie Russell pleads guilty in daughter's drug-related death

Posted: 1:52 PM, Dec 12, 2017
Updated: 2017-12-13 06:09:13Z

A Phoenix woman accused in the drug-related death of her baby daughter last year has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and child abuse.

Maricopa County Superior Court officials say 31-year-old Natalie Russell entered her plea Tuesday and is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 19.

Russell originally was charged with first-degree murder and child abuse in the April 2016 death of her daughter, Adalynn, who was nearly 2 years old.

Autopsy results showed the girl had toxic levels of methadone and methamphetamines in her system at the time of her death, which was ruled a homicide.

Police say Russell "recklessly left a 120 mg bottle of liquid methadone in reach of her children" and Adalynn drank some of the drug used to prevent withdrawal symptoms in those addicted to opiates.

In an exclusive jailhouse interview with ABC15 in August 2016 , Russell blamed herself for the incident, saying she was "heartbroken."