A Denton Township woman whose boyfriend is in prison for the scalding death of her son will not regain custody of her other child, a state Court of Appeals has decided.
“A parent cannot protect a child from a risk of harm when she fails or refuses to even recognize that a risk exists,” wrote Justices Karen M. Fort Hood, Stephen L. Borrello and Cynthia D. Stephens.
The state terminated Elena M. Hose’s rights to her 7-year-old son, Dylan K. Spear,
after the death of 14-month-old Clayton T. Mead on April 10, 2009.
Bradley J. O’Neil, now 24, was sentenced to 37 to 60 years in prison after pleading no contest
to second-degree homicide.
In appealing the removal of her older son, Hose said the state Department of Human Services is required to provide aid, in an effort to reunite family members, before terminating parental rights.
The Appeals Court countered that in certain cases, the state can forego remedial services.
Since Hose’s lifestyle could place the child in harm’s way, this was one of those cases, the judges wrote in an opinion released Tuesday.
Hose has a “significant history” of drug and alcohol use and continued to abuse alcohol even as she knew the state was seeking to terminate her rights, the judges wrote.
She also continues to deny that her lifestyle and decisions contributed to her son’s death
, the appellate panel said.
“(Hose) left her children in the care of her boyfriend ... a known drug dealer, convicted felon and a person with whom (Hose) had snorted heroin only moments before she left,” the judges wrote.