Rifle mother pleads guilty to murder after young daughter’s overdose death late last year
The Rifle mother accused of causing her child’s methamphetamine overdose death pleaded guilty Thursday to second-degree murder.
Stephanie Alvarado admitted to knowingly causing the death of her 5-year-old daughter Sophia Larson due to methamphetamine intoxication. Alvarado was facing a first-degree murder charge prior to her guilty plea.
Through the online video hosting platform Webex, District Judge Denise Lynch accepted the plea for Stephanie Alvarado. The class two felony carries a potential 16-48 years imprisonment.
“…You knowingly caused the death of another person, which in this case was your daughter,” Lynch said. And are you guilty of that, ma’am?
After a long pause, Alvarado replied.
If Alvarado is sentenced and released from prison, she potentially faces five years parole and up to a $1 million fine.
Alvarado is currently in Garfield County Jail on a $1.05 million bond and was supposed to appear in court in November. The case, however, was continued as Alvarado reported being sick due to symptoms of COVID-19 and could not consult with her attorney.
According to court documents, Alvarado was with her cousin, Daniel Alvarado, and another co-defendant in the case, Bertha Ceballos-Romo on Dec. 11, 2019 when the incident occurred. The three suspects were allegedly using methamphetamine when the 5-year-old Larson unknowingly ingested water that contained the drug.
Larson died after drinking the water, the Garfield County Coroner reports. Alvarado would later tell police that she didn’t bring her daughter to the hospital out of fear of losing custody.
Alvarado was initially charged with child abuse resulting in death, a class-two felony.
On Feb. 26 of this year, Alvarado was again arrested after allegedly breaking into the home of Larson’s father, Alec Larson, and attacking him. She faced several charges from the incident including felony burglary, criminal trespass, and violating bail bond conditions, and misdemeanor assault and criminal mischief.
Alvarado also pleaded guilty on Thursday in that case to first-degree criminal trespass in a dwelling with domestic violence, a class-five felony. She potentially faces an additional term of up to three years imprisonment, that could be doubled due to extreme aggravated circumstances, said Lynch.
If sentenced and released from prison, Alvarado would potentially face two years parole and up to a $100,000 fine.
The county will conduct a pre-sentence investigation. Alvarado’s sentence hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Jan. 29.
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