New York Daily News: MANHATTAN, NY – A Texas woman was seeking to cash in on her son’s life insurance policies when she gave the 6-year-old boy a lethal dose of medication that caused him to hallucinate before he died from an overdose, authorities said Thursday.
Ashley Marks, 25, was charged with capital murder this week in the June 2020 death of Jason Sanchez-Marks in Houston, according to prosecutors and local media reports.
The suspect, who is being held without bond, is accused of repeatedly giving the child fatal doses of methamphetamine, cocaine and off-the-counter drugs, including Nyquil — all of which were found in his system after toxicology tests.
The boy and his sister had been living with Marks’ father since April 2020, when the siblings were diagnosed with tuberculosis, according to an investigative report obtained by KHOU. Around the same time, prosecutors learned, the woman took out two $50,000 life insurance policies for Jason and named herself as the sole beneficiary.
Marks then continued visiting her kids to give them medication, though her daughter refused to take it, authorities said.
“The grandfather said he repeatedly contacted the mother over a two-day period notifying her that the 6-year old child was ill (projectile vomiting, hallucinating, unable to sleep), but neither the mother nor grandfather sought medical attention for the 6-year old as the child’s condition worsened,” investigators wrote in the report.
The grandfather told police the boy eventually started hallucinating, saying he was “scared” and that bugs were crawling on his clothing. The man, Adam Marks, found Jason dead on June 27.
Authorities said the accused killer is a licensed insurance agent in Texas and “poisoned her child” to cash in on the insurance policies she had just taken out on him.
An obituary published online last summer said Jason had just finished first grade “with an excellent report card, and he was looking forward to starting second grade.”
“He was a smart, caring child who loved to play with toy cars and dress up as a cowboy,” the obit states. “His dream was to work at the rodeo or to be a Firefighter. He loved to go to the park to play with his little sister, going to the Museum of Natural Science to see the dinosaur exhibits, and going to the Houston Zoo.”
Breaking news reporter Nelson Oliveira has worked for the Daily News since March 2019. He was born and raised in Brazil and has covered local and national stories for news outlets in New York and Connecticut since 2013.