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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Man whose toddler died from fentanyl exposure sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison

Nov. 22, 2022 Updated Tue., Nov. 22, 2022 at 9:18 p.m.

A 32-year-old man was sentenced last week to 3½ years in prison and 3½ years of probation after some fentanyl that he intended to deliver instead killed his 17-month-old daughter.

As part of a plea agreement, Frank R. Marusic pleaded guilty Thursday to controlled substance – homicide and two counts of delivery of fentanyl, according to court documents. Spokane County Superior Court Judge Maryann Moreno then handed down the “prison-based alternative” sentence.

The prison and probation sentences were one-half of the midpoint of the standard sentencing range for the homicide charge.

Spokane police conducted multiple drug buys from Marusic with a confidential informant throughout September 2021, according to documents. On Dec. 4, several people at Marusic’s residence called 911 when his 17-month-old daughter was found not breathing.

Narcan, an emergency treatment for an opioid overdose, was administered to the child, court records said.

The toddler was declared brain dead and taken off life support after three days in the hospital, documents said. The Spokane County Medical Examiner announced the child died of “complications of fentanyl intoxication.”

Court documents said Marusic has a substance-use disorder that contributed to his crimes. They also said “reasonable grounds exist” to believe Marusic is mentally ill, which likely influenced his crimes.

Marusic’s criminal history includes first-degree robbery and several misdemeanors.

Marusic was arrested Dec. 16. He remained in the Spokane County Jail Tuesday. He will be given credit for time served.

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