Broward Sheriff’s Office homicide detectives have arrested the uncle of a 2-year-old Oakland Park boy who died in May after being rushed to the hospital unresponsive.
The mother of Amari Francis transported him to the emergency room at Florida Medical Center just before 1:30 a.m. on May 8. Amari was pronounced dead at the hospital, and his body was transported to the Broward County Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy. There were no obvious signs of trauma. Following an autopsy and the results of toxicology tests, the death was ruled accidental caused by a lethal level of Methadone.
Through the investigation, detectives learned Amari was in the care of his uncle Richard Gibbon, 38, that evening while his mother was at work. Gibbon has a lifelong illness, which is treated with Methadone. According to Gibbon, he was counting the pills on his bed the night of the incident. Hours later, Amari’s mother went into Gibbon’s room to get her sleeping baby. Instead she found him unresponsive on Gibbon’s bed.
Detectives concluded Gibbon displayed ongoing negligence in the care and control of his Methadone pills. In a 2005 case investigated by BSO’s Child Protective Investigations Section, Gibbon’s 16-month-old niece was hospitalized after ingesting Gibbon’s medication. He received counseling about the care of his prescriptions at that time.
Gibbon faces one count of aggravated manslaughter of a child.