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Mom Charged After Child Nearly Eats Oxycontin-Laced Sandwich

A Staten Island woman was charged with endangering the welfare of a child after her 3-year-old daughter placed prescription painkillers inside a sandwich and then shared it with other children, police said.

According to authorities, Denise Manzella, 28, of New Springville, left her prescribed oxycodone pills unattended inside her kitchen while preparing lunch for her daughters, aged 3 and 5, one day last week.

When Manzella became distracted, the 3-year-old reportedly slipped a couple of the painkillers into a jelly sandwich and urged her mother to eat it.

The drug-laced sandwich instead found its way on a plate that the woman's daughters offered to neighborhood children. The grandmother of the children called police after she discovered the pills inside the sandwich.

Manzella was arrested and charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a minor. She was released on her own recognizance until her next court appearance on Sept. 13. Manzella faces a year in jail if convicted.

The mother of two maintains that it was a simple accident.

"It was my fault," she told the Staten Island Advance. "It wasn't carelessness on my part. It was an accident on my part."

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