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Father in Bangor toddler's fentanyl-related death appears in court

Shane Smith, 31, of Winterport, turned himself in Thursday night. He was wanted for endangering the welfare of a child.

PENOBSCOT COUNTY, Maine — The father of a 1-year-old whose death in October 2018 was linked to fentanyl exposure appeared in court Friday.

Shane Smith, 31, of Winterport, pleaded not guilty in a Bangor courtroom.

Smith turned himself in to police Thursday night after an arrest warrant was issued accusing him of the same charge brought against the child's mother, Kimberly Nelligan.

Both Nelligan and Smith are being charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Their daughter, Jordynn, died from acute fentanyl intoxication, according to the state medical examiner's office. The medical examiner said Jordynn's death was caused by the toddler somehow ingesting the lethal drug.

While in jail for drug-related charges, Smith told investigators that Nelligan had routinely rubbed heroin residue on their daughter's gums to help the toddler sleep. 

RELATED: Exclusive: Bangor mom charged in connection to toddler's death maintains her innocence

Judge Patrick Larson set Smith’s bail at $1,000 and with the conditions of no drugs or alcohol. Smith is also ordered to have no contact with the child's mother, Kimberly Nelligan.

Police said Smith had been in contact with detectives when his arrest warrant was issued and had made arrangements to turn himself in. However, they said he did not keep his scheduled meeting and stopped responding to detectives Friday.

RELATED: Bangor mother allegedly rubbed heroin on daughter's gums

Nelligan, 33, pleaded not guilty to endangering the welfare of a child and possession of a scheduled drug in Penobscot County Superior Court on Sept. 18. 

Nelligan told NEWS CENTER Maine that her daughter Jordynn was an extremely sick infant and toddler but emphatically denied giving her daughter heroin or any of her children.

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