Parents accused of exposing infant to meth, abuse

MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. – When a 10-month-old child was taken to Baxter Regional Medical Center in April, the sheriff’s office was called over possible abuse to the child.

The infant ended up being taken to Arkansas Children’s Hospital for further treatment. He had been injured in a domestic abuse situation but the child had been abused in more ways than just physical.

Toxicology tests were performed after the baby was taken to the hospital on April 11. The results took some time but were announced by the sheriff’s office in the July 2 release. The results tested positive for methamphetamine and THC exposure.

Shannah M. Cotter, 27, of Gamaliel, is the baby’s mother. She’s under arrest and facing charges of introducing a Controlled Substance into the Body of Another, a Class Y Felony.

Dustin Sandoval, 28, is the baby’s father. He’s already been arrested on April 12 for domestic battery and child endangerment related to this incident but a warrant for his arrest is now pending for the same Class Y Felony of Introducing a Controlled Substance into the child.

Sandoval is listed as in-custody in Marion County, according to VINELink, meaning he will face the added Baxter County charges before he can be released.

The investigation indicated that the child had resided either primarily with her mother or her father for her entire life. During an interview, Cotter stated that the child was with her most of the time.

Shannah M. Cotter pictured. Photo from sheriff’s office.

On June 26th, a judge found probable cause to arrest Cotter on the felony charge for introducing drugs into the baby. She was arrested on July 1st and taken to the Baxter County Detention Center to be booked. She remains in custody as of the date of this publication in lieu of $25,000 bond and will appear before the Circuit Court to answer on July 11th.

A warrant is pending for the arrest of Sandoval on the same charge. Sandoval is in custody outside of Baxter County.


Sandoval has been arrested various times in the past for erratic behavior and crystal meth possession.

On the week of April 18, 2018, KTLO reports he was arrested in a car with several others and a plastic bag under his right foot with crystal meth was found. He became agitated and pulled away from the officer, demonstrating his temper. He was arrested. Two others were also arrested. Syringes, pills, pipes and drugs were found in the vehicle.

Booking photo for his Aug 2018 meth arrest

He was also in Marion County Circuit Court in May facing felony charges of aggravated assault and criminal mischief as well as endangering the welfare of a minor. This incident involved him allegedly going nuts on an unnamed female who had gone to his residence to get items for their daughter. He was “acting crazy,” and throwing rocks at her vehicle, even smashing the windshield. This was all as the couple’s infant daughter was in the back of the vehicle. He hid in the woods for some time due to a warrant he said he had out of Mountain Home for failure to appear in court.

He’s been in Marion County jail since April 23 for his charges there.

NEA Report reached out to Sheriff John Montgomery for more information about this disturbing case. We plan to update this story when we are able to speak to him further. Check this article in the future for more.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.