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GUILTY PLEA IS ENTERED IN DRUG INGESTION

Lawrence Crummie, the stepfather of Crystal Roman, the Buffalo girl left seriously brain-damaged last spring after swallowing a combination of illicit drugs, pleaded guilty today to a felony assault charge.

Crummie, 42, who has been jailed since last March, told State Supreme Court Justice Penny M. Wolfgang he doesn't know exactly how Crystal, now 4, got the dangerous mixture of drugs, but he admitted leaving spoons containing cocaine and heroin around the family's Plymouth Avenue flat. He also admitted he left methadone in prescription drug bottles in his refrigerator.

Crummie , the father of the youngest of the four children of his wife, Leonor Roman, was ordered to remain jailed in lieu of $50,000 bail pending his Dec. 8 sentencing.

Justice Wolfgang did not give him a sentencing commitment, but court officials said he faces a maximum prison term of seven years on his guilty plea to the highest crime lodged against him last spring by a grand jury.

On Sept. 3, Ms. Roman, 19, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor child-endangerment charge and agreed to testify against Crummie if he demanded a jury trial. She is free on her own recognizance.

Crummie and Ms. Roman both were indicted in late May in connection with the injuries Crystal suffered after swallowing a near-lethal mixture of methadone, cocaine and heroin in the couple's home last March 29.

The couple allegedly spent two days smoking crack cocaine before they noticed Crystal was unconscious. The girl was in a coma when they rushed her to Children's Hospital.

Prosecutor Douglas P. Stiller told Justice Wolfgang prosecutors accepted Crummie's pretrial plea.

When Ms. Roman pleaded guilty, Justice Wolfgang told her she is inclined to sentence her on Nov. 24 to three years of court-supervised probation because of her otherwise clean record.

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