On Monday, “Mommy blogger” Lacey Spears of White Plains was found guilty of second-degree murder by a jury of her peers for the death of her son, Garnett, by slowly poisoning him to death.
According to The New York Times article, Lacey Spears had been writing about her son’s many ailments online, describing him with many ear infections, fevers, seizures, and digestive problems. At just 5 years old, Garnett died in the hospital on January 23, 2014, and his mother was quick to place the blame on the doctors.
However, a police investigation questioned the high sodium levels found at the time of death, concluding that his mother must have been adding salt into his feeding tube. The prosecution argued that Spears enjoyed the attention brought to her through her sick son.
The evidence in Spears’ case comprises of the son’s feedings bags found in the Spears’ apartment, which tested positive for heavy amounts of sodium. This indicates that the salt must have been added to the bags. The New York Times article uses the testimony from a forensic toxicologist who states how one feeding bag had the equivalent of 69 McDonald’s salt packets in it. The prosecution also used many of the postings made by the “Mommy Blogger” on the negative impact high amounts of sodium levels can have on the body.
Many (including the NY Times and an article from Lohud) conclude that Spears might suffer from a rare psychological disorder, Munchausen by proxy. It is described as a condition where parents purposely harm their children to win attention and sympathy.
Spears now faces up to 25 years in prison from the guilty verdict.