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Shawnee man pleads guilty for role in 2-year-old’s death from fentanyl

Posted at 11:15 AM, Nov 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-03 12:15:16-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Shawnee man pleaded guilty Wednesday for his role in the Nov. 2020 death of his two-year-old son from fentanyl intoxication.

Jean Pierre Morales, 28, pleaded guilty before a judge in Johnson County District Court to distributing drugs that resulted in death.

Morales was booked into jail on April 1, 2021, after he was charged in his son’s death.

On Nov. 14, 2020, police in Merriam responded to a house where a child was unresponsive. The child died shortly thereafter.

Morales is set to be sentenced in March 2023.

Also charged in the child’s death is the mother, Shelly Vallejo. A trial in her case is set for Feb. 2023.

Children’s involvement in fentanyl overdoses has continued to draw resources from law enforcement and prosecutors.

Earlier this fall, the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department said a toddler was among four people who had recently died from fentanyl overdoses.

A KSHB 41 special 360 report on fentanyl overdoses among children detailed the devastating effects of overdoses on families and the community.

For jurisdictions that utilize the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline, anonymous tips can be made by calling 816-474-TIPS (8477), submitting the tip online or through the free mobile app at

Annual homicide details and data for the Kansas City area are available through the KSHB 41 News Homicide Tracker, which was launched in 2015. Read the KSHB 41 News Mug Shot Policy.