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Trial Begins of “Mommy Blogger” Accused of Poisoning Her Son with Salt

January 27, 2015  |  Posted by: Giovanni DePhillips
Trial Begins of “Mommy Blogger” Accused of Poisoning Her Son with Salt Image courtesy of abcnews.go.com

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(Westchester County, N.Y.) Jury selection began Monday, in the trial of “Mommy Blogger” Lacey Spears, 27, of Scottsville, Kentucky, who is charged with her 5 year-old son’s 2013 death.

Spears is charged with Depraved murder and Manslaughter for allegedly poisoning her 5 year-old son by intentionally placing salt in her son’s feeding tube at very high toxic levels.

During Garnett-Paul’ Spears tragic ordeal, she portrayed herself online as a loving mother, who would blog of her son’s rapid declining health on social media.

According to the Prosecutor, the levels of sodium were so high, it lead to swelling of the brain, seizures and eventually to the little boy’s death.

‘This mother was intentionally feeding her child salt at toxic levels,’ prosecutor Doreen Lloyd said at Spears’ arraignment

The prosecution accuses the single mother, who stayed in his hospital room at Westchester Medical Center, of administering salt through a feeding tube into Garnett’s stomach.

As her son’s health rapidly declined, she kept online followers updated, posting 28 blog posts in the last 11 days of his life ending with the final post when he died, which read: ‘Garnett the great journeyed onward today at 10:20 a.m.’

Spears posted thousands of blog posts on social media over Garnett’s lifetime, regarding his many doctor and hospital visits.

One Tweet read, ‘My Sweet Angel Is In The Hospital For The 23rd Time,’ Spears tweeted on Nov. 9, 2009, adding a sad-faced emoticon. ‘Please Pray He Gets To Come Home Soon.’

On Monday, Jury selection began with a pool of 90 potential jurors present. Several jurors admitted to the judge they were aware of the case because of the extensive news coverage.

Last week, the judge ruled that Spears’ messages on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace were relevant and would be allowed to be introduced as evidence.

Included with the posts would be the photos taken showing Garnett’s declining health, said acting state Supreme Court Justice Robert Neary.

Additional evidence that the Judge allowed and will be presented to the jury, include:

  • Internet research Spears conducted on her iPhone regarding the dangers of sodium in children and the properties of iodized salt
  • Garnett’s hospital records from Alabama, Florida and New York showing a history of Garnett’s poor health, which they will argue was induced by Spears
  • Testimony from multiple doctors who treated Garnett, who say Spears lied to them about the boy’s health by claiming he had diseases such as Celiac, when in fact he did not.
  • Bags used to feed Garnett which prosecutors say have ‘extraordinary’ concentrations of sodium.
  • Prosecutors will also argue that Spears attempted to cover up her actions by asking a friend to take a feeding bag, telling her to “get rid of it and don’t tell anybody.”

Her defense attorney Stephen Riebling would not comment on the prosecution’s case, but instead said the defense would focus “on the relevant facts, not fiction.”

Spears was originally from Alabama and was living in Chestnut Ridge, New York, at the time of Garnett’s death. She was living in Kentucky when she was arrested in June and has remained in jail since.

No references to Munchausen by proxy, a disorder in which caretakers intentionally but secretly harm children to garner attention and sympathy will be made during the trial.

Some experts regard it as a mental illness and a defense to such crimes, while others consider it a motive, however, some experts believe Spears’ case fits the syndrome.

Spears’ lawyers asked the judge to prohibit any mention of Munchausen and prosecutors said they had no plans to bring it up.

Spears could be sentenced to 25 Years to life in prison if she is convicted.

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