Remember Lacey Spears? She’s the “Mommy Blogger” who we wrote about on May 10th after stunning evidence and allegations from those who knew her came to light. In brief, Spears was being investigated in the death of her five-year-old son, Garnett-Paul Spears. He died after his sodium levels skyrocketed in a controlled hospital environment with no medical explanation. There was a discussion regarding Munchausen syndrome by proxy in regards to Lacey Spears, especially given the outrageous claims she made about her personal life.
The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that prosecutors in Westchester County, New York, charged Spears with second-degree depraved murder and first-manslaughter. If convicted of charges, she faces a maximum sentence of 20 years to life in prison. Spears turned herself in the same day charges were made.
According to CBS reporting, Westchester Police Capt. Christopher Calabrese stated that “She really didn’t show any emotion,” when she arrived. “She was kind of stoic when she came here. I think that she knew the grand jury was going on. She anticipated this happening, and she turned herself in with her attorney.”
The prosecution team disclosed that they believed the 26-year-old mother gave her son dangerous amounts of salt after conducting research about its effects on people. They believe she may have poisoned her child at least twice – before his initial seizures and then again while he was hospitalized in January. They also suspect that the abuse Garnett suffered at the hands of his mother went back years.
The major cause? The prosecution believes that it was because of the social media attention she gained throughout various networks such as Twitter and blogs when she would discuss the tragic life that Garnett led.
The in-depth investigation shows a timeline starting when Garnett was just 5 days old and seen at an Alabama hospital for fluid in his ears. When the baby was 10 weeks old, his sodium level climbed and his breathing stopped. Doctors were unable to determine a cause at the time. His feeding tube was put in when he was just nine months old. After that, he was in and out emergency rooms across Alabama, then in his new home in Florida, before finally relocating to New York.
Even more heartbreaking is the official accounts of Garnett’s final days. While he was awake and talking, friends came to visit. One visitor stated that the boy said, “Don’t leave me.”
Prosecutors noted that Spears stayed in her son’s hospital room. It was during this time that she took Garnett into the private bathroom and injected the sodium into Garnett’s feeding tube. The next day, Garnett’s condition deteriorated and he “coded.” At that point, the medical staff notified the state’s child abuse hotline. Garnett was taken off life support and declared dead on January 23rd.
Authorities noted that while explaining Garnett’s medical issues, Spears used medical and hospital jargon the entire time, and seemed to avoid layman’s terms. Ultimately she pled not guilty. She mentioned that sometimes she used “a pinch of salt” for flavor when feeding her son, and that every once in a while, Garnett would play with the feeding syringe. Her defense is that it’s possible Garnett did this to himself.
Unfortunately, neither of these statements are medically correct. Nutrition administered through a feeding tube would never cross tastebuds and a feeding bag must be refilled from a height of at least five feet.
Spears also stated that if she did cause his death through an injection she administered, it wouldn’t be her fault either. Those medications were prescribed, and therefore she wouldn’t be responsible for any sort of interactions that were caused. For her, this was all accidental – another tragedy in her already tragic life. She claims she did not murder him.
When it was mentioned by an investigator that the cause of death might never be known officially, Spears allegedly smiled and appeared relieved, according to her indictment.