Pair Put Booze in Disabled Boy's IV, Killed Him: Cops

Vermont mom, boyfriend charged in Isaac Robitille's death
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2014 1:32 PM CDT
Walter Richter III, who Vermont State Police say with girlfriend Melissa Robitille, put alcohol in her son's IV tube, killing the 13-year-old. They were charged Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014 with murder.   (Uncredited)
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(Newser) – Thirteen-year-old Isaac Robitille was born with disabilities so severe he depended on feeding tubes and IVs to keep him alive. When he died in August, an autopsy found that his blood-alcohol content was 0.146—nearly twice the legal limit for adult drivers, reports the AP. Today, Isaac's mother, Melissa Robitille, and her boyfriend, Walter Richter III, head to court to answer to charges that they loaded Isaac's IV with booze, which the autopsy said exacerbated an existing brain abnormality and contributed to his death. "Knowing he had all that to deal with and then parents that would do that, it's just heartbreaking," a neighbor tells WCAX.

In 2005, then 5-year-old Isaac received a puppy named Tickle from the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Melissa Robitille, whose 65-year-old husband died in January, told WCAX at the time: "Isaac's going to meet so many therapy goals just chasing Tickle around and reaching out because he needs to learn how to reach out and feel the world, because he's afraid of things that could hurt him, because he can't see them." Robitille and Richter are facing second-degree murder charges; bail has been set at $500,000 each. (Read more Isaac Robitille stories.)

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