PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A Pittsburgh woman is facing charges after allowing her grandchildren to smoke marijuana while recorded on social media.
Tonika Averytt is being charged with two cases of endangering the welfare of children and two cases of corruption of minors.
According to a criminal complaint filed by Pittsburgh Police, Averytt allowed her 11-year-old and 12-year-old grandsons to smoke marijuana under her supervision.
Police say that on January 3rd, 2020, Derrick Butler took his 11-year-old son to UPMC Mercy regarding an incident that had happened on New Years Day, January 1st.
On the evening of January 1st, Butler’s 11-year-old son and 12-year-old son were at 1026 Memory Lane with their maternal family, celebrating the holiday.
According to police, sometime that evening, both juveniles were supplied with a marijuana cigarette, which they both smoked and inhaled while recording the incident on social media.
The video was supplied to both Pittsburgh Police as well as Children, Youth, and Families.
Police say that the 19-second video depicts both juveniles inhaling a lit marijuana cigarette several times.
In the background of the video, an older female, later identified as Averytt, can be heard telling the juveniles “I mean it, don’t have no cameras or nothing. I’m not playing.”
When asked “What did I say,?” the 11-year-old responded “no cameras.”
Children, Youth, and Families caseworker Baylee Lucas conducted a school visit at Marshall K-5 on January 15th, 2020.
It was during this meeting that both juveniles confirmed the accuracy of the video.
Both juveniles then disclosed to Lucas that Averytt is their biological grandmother, who provided the marijuana and allowed them to use it under her supervision.
Upon being interviewed by police, Averytt stated that she had been drinking the night of the incident.
After discovering the 11-year-old with marijuana, she initially took it away.
She later stated that if they already had the marijuana, “Why don’t I just stay upstairs and watch them?”
When asked why she told the children “no cameras,” Averytt stated “Because I knew that if it was on camera that I could face possible charges. Just like it is.”