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Sacramento DA / Media / Press Release Archives / 2015 Press Release Archives / 2.20.15: Case of Interest: Sarah Stephens

Case of Interest: Sarah Stephens

DATE: February 20, 2015

CASE: Sarah Stephens

PROSECUTOR: Deputy District Attorney Eric Kindall, Homicide Unit

District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert announced today that Sarah Stephens pled no contest to voluntary manslaughter and felony child abuse in connection with the death of her infant son, Ryder Salmen. 

On April 29, 2012, relatives noticed that Stephens appeared to be “out of it” and her 2-month-old son Ryder was lethargic.  Ryder was taken to an emergency room and methadone was detected in his system.  He was given an antidote and revived. Stephens did not have a prescription for methadone at the time. 

On September 28, 2012, emergency personnel were called to Stephens’ apartment, where they found 7-month-old Ryder dead.  Testing revealed he had received a lethal dose of methadone, alprazolam and oxymorphone.  Stephens did not have current prescriptions for any of those drugs at the time.  Subsequent testing conducted by the District Attorney’s Laboratory of Forensic Services determined it was scientifically unlikely the fatal overdose came from breast milk.    

Stephens is facing a maximum potential sentence of 12 years and 4 months in state prison.  Sentencing is set for March 27, 2015 before the Honorable Ben Davidian.


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