Tenn. woman faces murder charges after twins die with drugs in systems

Newborns die two days after birth

By Theresa Waldrop and Tina Burnside, CNN
Hamilton County Sheriff's Office via CNN

Tiffany Roberts faces first-degree murder charges.

A Chattanooga, Tennessee, woman was charged with first-degree murder after her prematurely born twins died with narcotics in their systems, authorities said.

Both infants tested positive for several drugs, including cocaine, when they were born July 21, according to the affidavit filed by the arresting officer. They died two days later, within hours of each other.

Tiffany Roberts, 29, admitted to investigators to taking drugs, "citing she has a problem," the affidavit said.

Medical staff at T.C. Thompson Children's Hospital at Erlanger told investigators that during her pregnancy, Roberts tested positive for cocaine, oxycodone, roxicodone, methamphetamine and benzodiazepines in drug tests administered on June 27, July 20, and July 21, the affidavit said.

Roberts told investigators she took ecstasy on July 20 and went to the hospital after being short of breath, according to an affidavit. She gave birth prematurely the next day, after 23 weeks of pregnancy, the affidavit said.

Both infants died on July 23 of pulmonary hemorrhage as the cause of death, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit said, based on Roberts' drug use and medical records, the infants "were subject to aggravated child abuse and neglect, which later led to their deaths."

Roberts was taken into custody Tuesday. Her bond was set at $1 million, according to court documents. She was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of aggravated child abuse and two counts of viable fetus as victim.

It was not immediately known if Roberts had obtained an attorney to speak on her behalf.

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