Colorado mother pleads guilty in 5-year-old daughter’s meth overdose death

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GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. (KDVR) — The mother of a 5-year-old girl who died from a meth overdose pleaded guilty Thursday morning to murder in the second-degree and criminal trespass involving domestic violence.

Stephanie Alvarado, 27, will face 16 to 48 years for the murder count and up to an additional six years for the domestic violence charge when she is sentenced Jan. 29.

Sophia Larson died Dec. 11, 2019 after drinking from a water bottle laced with meth, according to the Garfield County Coroner’s Office.

Prosecutors say Alvarado waited hours to take her daughter to the emergency room, even though she saw her 5-year-old hallucinating after drinking from a bottle she didn’t know was laced with methamphetamine. 

Alvarado’s cousins Daniel Alvarado and Bertha Ceballos-Roma were charged with the girl’s death as well.

“I don’t know how to explain the amount that I miss her, you know. It’s not something that I really have the words for,” said Alec Larson, father of Sophia Larson.

The 24-year-old dad went to court in-person to hear his ex-girlfriend take responsibility. Alvarado appeared remotely on a camera from the Garfield County Jail where she has been in custody for months. Larson said his former girlfriend had been a good mother until becoming addicted to drugs about a year before Sophia died. Larson said Stephanie Alvarado’s drug use contributed to their break-up.

“I was genuinely concerned about Steph in the beginning. I didn’t think we were going to bury my daughter. I thought we were going to bury her mom and it just took a turn for the worst,” said  Larson.

Originally, Stephanie Alvarado faced five charges, including murder in the first degree/extreme indifference and child abuse causing death. 

Under the plea deal, prosecutors in the Ninth Judicial District dismissed those counts. Stephanie Alvarado was also sentenced for a Feb. 26 incident at Larson’s Carbondale home. Larson said his ex showed up at his home and appeared to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol and assaulted him just hours before she made her first court appearance in the murder case.

While Stephanie Alvarado could face up to a total of 54 years, it’s possible Judge Denise Lynch will sentence her concurrently, meaning her two sentences could be combined into one.

The case against Daniel Alvarado is still pending. Bertha Ceballos-Roma was found to be living in the United States illegally. She was deported to Mexico on Oct. 6, 2020.

FOX31 originally reported story when Stephanie Alvarado was charged on Jan. 30, 2020.

If you or someone you know needs help with addiction you can contact the Drug Helpline:

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