Mom Who Killed Baby Through Breastfeeding Gets 20 Years

Her morphine got into the infant's system

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Apr 4, 2014 11:48 AM CDT

(Newser) – A South Carolina woman has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for inadvertently killing her baby through breastfeeding. Prosecutors made the case that Stephanie Greene, 39, was taking so many prescription painkillers that her 6-week-old daughter overdosed, reports WYFF. The infant had a toxic level of morphine in her system upon death. Greene is a former nurse, and she hid her pregnancy from her primary doctor so she could continue getting her prescriptions all the while. She had her husband pick them up when she began showing.

Greene's lawyers say she became addicted to the drugs following a bad car crash a decade ago, reports AP. "She needed those meds to get up in the morning and function," said one. "She was on total disability because of her pain, her fibromyalgia, and all the other things wrong with her." Greene plans to appeal, but as of now she is not eligible for parole for 16 years. She was found guilty of homicide by child abuse yesterday, and sentenced today. She also faces dozens of charges over fraudulent prescriptions.

Stephanie Greene.
Stephanie Greene.   (Spartanburg County Detention Center)
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