'Doting' Mom Charged With Killing Son, 5
Lacey Spears may have poisoned him for sympathy: investigators
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jun 18, 2014 8:36 AM CDT
Lacey Spears is escorted into the courtroom at the Westchester County Courthouse on Tuesday, June 17, 2014, in White Plains, NY.   (AP Photo/The Journal News, Ricky Flores)

(Newser) – After a months-long investigation, an Alabama mom has been charged with murder: Prosecutors in Westchester County, NY, say Lacey Spears poisoned her 5-year-old son through a feeding tube, likely in an effort to gain sympathy on social media. She "was intentionally feeding her son salt in toxic levels," said a district attorney in court yesterday, where Spears pleaded not guilty. Her charges include second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter; prosecutors aren't arguing that she meant to kill her son Garnett, but they say she behaved without regard for his life, the Journal News reports. There was no medical explanation when his sodium levels soared, and prosecutors say Spears had done online research into how salt affects one's health, CBS 2 reports.

The case may be among the first to grapple with the psychiatric disorder Munchausen by proxy in the Internet age: Spears posted updates about her son's frequent illnesses on Facebook. She told friends he needed to be fed through a tube, but they regularly saw him eat solid foods. Police believe Spears may have poisoned him more than once, and the investigation began even before he died on Jan. 23. When he did, she initially got sympathy, the Journal News notes. But some who know her now tell the paper they're not surprised at the charges. "I really wish we could have prevented this because there were signs," says one. "She put all over Facebook how wonderful she was. She had us all snowed." The murder charge carries a sentence of 25 years to life. Click for more on the lies Spears reportedly told.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
'Doting' Mom Charged With Killing Son, 5 is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 33 comments
Nasmir Fellows
Jun 19, 2014 6:30 PM CDT
Oh well,
Jun 19, 2014 3:47 PM CDT
Jeez, what sick society we live in.
Jun 19, 2014 2:26 PM CDT
Corsica, what do her looks have to do with anything? It's so ugly of you to suggest she looks like a dyke...do you not know that is a really offensive term. Clearly she has a serious illness and if there were signs and no one reported their concerns to police, then where is the outrage about them failing to do anything to help the child and the mother? Yuck.