TUSCALOOSA, AL — A Tuscaloosa County couple has been charged with chemical endangerment of a child after investigators alleged that their three-month-old boy died from exposure to methamphetamine.

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Captain Jack Kennedy, commander of the Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit, told local media that on May 5, 2022, the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 14000 block of Shady Woods Lane in Coker regarding a call involving an unresponsive infant.

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Kennedy said TCSO deputy paramedics attempted lifesaving procedures, including CPR, until an ambulance arrived. The child — Greyson Randal Gray — later died after being transported to the hospital.

“The Violent Crimes Unit assumed the investigation at that time because the cause of death was not known,” Kennedy said. “No physical trauma was found on the child, and interviews with the parents did not produce a cause of death.”

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Kennedy explained that investigators, during the initial stages of the investigation, discovered that methamphetamine had been detected in the baby’s system when the child was born in February 2022.

The boy’s mother — 35-year-old Jessica Minor — was charged with chemical endangerment of a child after the baby was born and was arrested on August 17, 2022. Kennedy said the Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR) did get involved after Minor’s arrest

“DHR has been involved from that day, they were actually on scene at the hospital at that time, as well as law enforcement,” Kennedy said. “That investigation into those charges was ongoing. One of the issues in these type of cases, we have to talk to medical experts. We’re trying to quiantify how much of this substance is in this child, how much of this substance woiuld it take to cause an injury. Then there is a legal aspect as well, as to is this negligently contact, wreckless contact or intentional contact.”

Kennedy then said DHR had enacted a safety plan for the child and was in supervision of that plan. However, the parents still had access to the child.

After her initial arrest, Minor was charged and jailed with bond set at $15,000 for the Class C felony. Following the death of the child and new charges being brought, Minor has since had her bond revoked, Kennedy said.

Kennedy went on to explain that the formal autopsy report after the child’s death was received from the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences several months later, with the cause of death listed as “methamphetamine toxicity.”

As part of the chemical endangerment of a child statute, Kennedy said the circumstances of the death resulted in both parents being charged with a Class A felony.

Violent Crimes Unit investigators subsequently consulted with a series of medical experts, re-interviewed the parents, and presented the findings to the District Attorney’s Office and grand jury. This resulted in the child’s father — 40-year-old Randall Chester Gray II — also being charged with chemical endangerment of a child.

Kennedy said Minor and Gray were both arrested Friday morning on the indictments, with bond set after motion by the District Attorney’s Office at $100,000 for Gray, who stands charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, while Minor was also charged with trafficking methamphetamine.

The additional charges stemmed from investigators finding suspected methamphetamine during the arrest and agents of the West Alabama Narcotics Task Force were called to conduct the investigation into the narcotics.

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