A Redding mother accused of poisoning and killing her 2-year-old daughter could face the death penalty if convicted, according to the Shasta County District Attorney’s Office.
Macie Marie Silvey, 21, pleaded not guilty to the charge of first-degree murder Tuesday in Shasta County Superior Court.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Kelly Kafel said Silvey is not eligible for bail because the charges against the woman could qualify her for the death penalty.
While California Gov. Gavin Newsom placed a moratorium on executions in the state in 2019, criminal defendants can still be sentenced to death, Kafel said.
Silvey is also charged with kidnapping a child under 14 years old. The complaint against her also includes several “special” allegations, including that the child was killed through poisoning, that she was a vulnerable victim, that the killing was done with “sophistication” and “professionalism” and that Silvey used her position of trust as the child’s parent when she allegedly committed the crime.
Kafel said outside court Tuesday that the DA’s office had not yet decided whether to seek the death penalty against Silvey. That decision is typically made after a preliminary hearing in court and a judge determines whether there is enough evidence to proceed to trial, Kafel said.
On Tuesday, Judge Adam Ryan set a preliminary hearing for Sept. 28.
Silvey was arrested by Redding police detectives after a seven-month investigation following the girl’s death in January of this year.
In January, law enforcement and paramedics went to the intersection of Deschutes Road and Highway 44 after they received a call about an unresponsive child in a vehicle.
The child was taken to the hospital but later died, police said. Investigators said Silvey knew her child had consumed multiple medications and was displaying the symptoms of someone who had overdosed.
Police determined that the child’s death was suspicious and launched an investigation.
A toxicology report indicated that there were seven to 15 different types of medications in the girl’s system when she died, the police report says.
Silvey was interviewed by police several times following her child’s death, telling officers different versions of events, police said in an investigative report.
“Detectives worked tirelessly over the last seven months and determined that on the day of the child’s death, the 2-year-old was deliberately provided as well as given access to prescription medication with criminal intent by her mother,” police said in a news release.
Originally, Silvey told investigators that her daughter opened the medication bottles herself, the report says.
In March, detectives asked Silvey to take a lie detector test. Instead, she wrote a suicide note, left behind her phone and pretended to be dead. The report does not specify how she faked her death.
Silvey left the area, got a new phone in someone else’s name and obtained an identification under a false name, the report says.
During an interview with police in July, Silvey said she stole some prescription medication from her mother and left the bottles open before her daughter died. Silvey said she was depressed because her daughter’s father was in jail and he did not speak with his daughter at Christmas.
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The day the child died, the girl was sick and crying, so her mother told investigators she gave her a piece of a Xanax pill. Silvey said she also saw the child carrying a handful of pills and running around her house with them, the report says.
Silvey told detectives she took the pills away from her daughter and threw them away, along with the other pills she stole from her mother, the report says.
Silvey told investigators she saw her child with the pills again and put them in the girl’s mouth. But she changed her story and told police she took the pills from the child’s mouth and threw them away.
At some point on the day the child died, she took a nap and when the girl awoke Silvey told a housekeeper she was taking the girl to the hospital. Instead, she drove the child to Millville, hoping the Xanax would wear off, the report says.
“Macey Silvey wanted to leave the house with (the child) before her parents got home from work,” the report says.
Silvey’s mother called her daughter and tried to talk her into taking the child to the hospital, but she instead drove north, away from the hospital, police said.
Through location data on Silvey’s cell phone, police determined she drove to Oak Run Road, stopped her car on the roadside and remained there for about an hour and 20 minutes, police said. She then drove back toward Redding and called 911.
Fire and emergency medical personnel met Silvey and her child at Deschutes Road and Highway 44. The child appeared to be dead, but medical personnel attempted lifesaving efforts, the report says.
She was taken to Mercy Medical Center in Redding where a doctor declared the child dead, the report says.
Reporter Damon Arthur welcomes story tips at 530-338-8834, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter at @damonarthur_RS. Help local journalism thrive by subscribing today!