Arraignment on murder charges was delayed Tuesday for the Jurupa Valley parents of a 15-month-old boy who authorities say died of a fentanyl overdose.
Adler Metcalf, 22, and Sandy Acuna, 20, were arrested last Wednesday after investigators concluded that the boy, who was initially reported to have stopped breathing in September 2020, actually died from fentanyl that belonged to the parents, authorities said.
Metcalf and Acuna were both charged with one count of murder and multiple counts of willful child cruelty. They are both now scheduled to appear at the Riverside Hall of Justice on Thursday for arraignment, according to court records.
Acuna and Metcalf are both being held on $1 million bail at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside.
On Sept. 1, 2020, emergency crews responded to a call of a juvenile who had stopped breathing at a home in the 5400 block of 34th Street in Jurupa Valley and administered medical aid to the toddler, who was eventually pronounced dead, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
According to court papers, Acuna initially told investigators that the boy — Adler Metcalf Jr. — had crawled out of his crib and swallowed a white pain pill, possibly Oxycontin.
But the boy’s death prompted a lengthy investigation, during which investigators allegedly discovered photos on Acuna’s cell phone of pills consisted with counterfeit drugs containing fentanyl — a synthetic opioid 100 times stronger than morphine, according to the court papers.
A round of drug testing found that Metcalf had marijuana and fentanyl in his system, while Acuna also had fentanyl in her system. The couple’s 4-month-old daughter had marijuana in her system, according to court documents.
Investigators concluded that Metcalf and Acuna were giving fentanyl and marijuana to both children, court papers stated.
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