Hillary Goding looks at her mother after she addressed the court during her sentencing for the overdose death of her 3-year-old daughter at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor on Friday. Goding is flanked by her defense attorneys Jeffrey Silverstein (left) and Mary Kellett Gray. Goding was sentenced to serve 19 years. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

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An Old Town mother who admitted causing the overdose death of her 3-year old daughter, Hailey, in June 2021 was sentenced Friday to 26 years in prison with all but 19 years suspended.

Hillary Goding, 30, pleaded guilty in September to manslaughter, a Class A crime, and violating her bail conditions, a Class C crime. In exchange for her pleas, a murder charge was dismissed by the Maine attorney general’s office.

Hailey was one of three children in the Bangor region allegedly killed by a parent in June 2021, prompting a fresh round of scrutiny for the state’s child welfare system and an outside investigation into the deaths.

Goding carried Hailey’s lifeless body in and out of her Old Town apartment for more than 20 hours before seeking medical help, according to the affidavit for the mother’s arrest. The affidavit also said that the child had ingested drugs about a year earlier but survived.

In sentencing Goding, Superior Court Justice William Anderson said that her case is an example of the prevalence of fentanyl in the community and the harm it is doing to the people who use it and their children.

An autopsy revealed that Hailey died from a brain injury that was consistent with an opioid overdose, and an initial urine screen at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor revealed the 3-year-old had fentanyl in her system, according to the prosecution.

Goding, who quietly wept throughout the proceeding, said that she took full accountability for her action, her lack of action and her addiction.

“I should have never hesitated to call for help during that time,” she said. “I put myself in a lot of situations that were dangerous to feed my addiction.”

She said that she has been sober since her arrest and engaged in treatment programs while boarded from the Penobscot County Jail out to Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset.

“The reason for that is because I don’t want to go down this road again,” Goding told Anderson.

Goding has been in and out of rehabilitation programs since her mid-teens, said her attorney Jeffrey Silverstein of Bangor.

In addition to prison time, Anderson sentenced her to six years of probation and ordered her to pay $4,650 for her daughter’s funeral expenses.

Conditions of her probation include participation in counseling, no use of alcohol or drugs, and no contact with children under the age of 12 without an adult present.

Assistant Attorney General Lisa Bogue, who prosecuted the case, and Silverstein jointly recommended a sentence of 25 to 28 years in prison with all but 17 to 22 years suspended.

Bogue urged the court to impose a sentence on the high end of the agreement to send a message to parents who use drugs that they must call 911 when their children ingest the substances.

Goding was arrested June 6, 2021, the same day Hailey was pronounced dead at EMMC. The mother has been in custody since then.

A month after Goding’s arrest, her $50,000 bail was revoked, and she was charged with violating conditions of release. Goding contacted a potential witness in the case at least 12 times from jail, violating one of the bail conditions.

A case similar to Goding’s is pending in Aroostook County.

Mariah  B. Dobbins, 29, of Easton is charged in the March 19, 2022, death of her 14-month-old son Jaden Raymond. Dobbins is charged with manslaughter.

Goding faced up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000 on the manslaughter conviction. If she had gone to trial and been convicted of murder, she would have faced between 25 years and life in prison.

On the violation of bail charge, she faced up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.