The Columbian / Associated Press

Father sentenced for giving his child pot cake

A Vancouver man who gave his 4-year-old daughter marijuana-infused chocolate cake was sentenced Friday to two years in prison.

John Batten, 28, entered guilty pleas in Clark County Superior Court to delivering a controlled substance and third-degree assault of a child, a domestic violence-related charge. He originally faced charges of delivering a controlled substance to a minor, second-degree assault of a child and third-degree assault of a child. However, those charges were amended as part of a plea deal.

Court records say that the child was taken to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center on Sept. 9 after becoming lethargic at her day care. The girl’s system tested positive for THC — the active ingredient in marijuana. Day care staff said the girl had been visited that morning by her father, Batten, who gave her snacks.

The girl told detectives that Batten brought her an apple and chocolate cake that day, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in Superior Court.

Detectives collected the cake wrapper and crumbs and sent them to the Washington State Patrol’s crime lab to be analyzed. The cake crumbs were found to contain THC, the affidavit said.

Batten denied giving the girl any food with marijuana in it. He said he purchased the cake that morning from a local gas station on Mill Plain Boulevard. The cake was in plastic wrap in a case near the register, he said, and it looked like it had been made on-site or was homemade, court records said.

The store’s owner told detectives he doesn’t carry any baked goods, except doughnuts. There also wasn’t any cake or similarly wrapped products in the display case, according to court documents.

Deputy Prosecutor Jeff McCarty said in a phone interview Friday that the child physically recovered from the incident.

Batten was additionally sentenced to a year of community custody and was ordered not to have contact with his daughter for five years.