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UPDATE: Details of the Depraved Murder Charge Against Lacey Spears

Lacey Spears is accused of killing her 5-year-old son. Photo/Westchester District Attorney's Office
Lacey Spears is accused of killing her 5-year-old son. Photo/Westchester District Attorney's Office
Lacey Spears took her son, Garnett-Paul, 5, to Nyack Hospital with a report of seizures on Jan. 17. For years she had chronicled his illnesses on Twitter. 

On Jan. 19 his sodium levels spiked dangerously and he was transferred to Westchester Medical Center.

Doctors there learned of his history of extensive hospitalizations, invasive surgeries and constant medical visits.

Jan. 21 his monitors went off and hospital staff rushed in to find him gray and unresponsive.

The head of the pediatric intensive care unit called the state Office of Children and Family Services a couple of hours later, according to Westchester District Attorney Janet DiFiore. 

Garnett was pronounced dead Jan. 23.

Six months later, Spears has been charged with murder, after a grand jury handed up a sealed indictment.

Authorities believe she poisoned him repeatedly with sodium.

"The homicide case may be one of the first involving Munchausen by proxy – a psychiatric disorder in which a parent sickens a child to garner sympathy – in the era of social media," reporter Shawn Cohen wrote in The Journal News/lohud.com.

Here is the text of the District Attorney's press release:

Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore announced that an indictment was unsealed today against Lacey Spears (DOB 10/16/87) of 247 Travis Road, Scottsville, Kentucky charging her with:

• one count of Depraved Murder in the Second Degree, a class “A” Felony,
• one count of Manslaughter in the First Degree, a class “B” Felony.
relating to the death of her 5 year old son.

On January 23, 2014, Garnett-Paul Spears, a 5 year old male child was declared dead at the Westchester Medical Center.

The child had been transferred to WMC from Nyack Hospital in Rockland County on January 19, 2014 by Medivac helicopter when without any medical explanation his sodium level rose from 144 to 182 meq/L, - milliequivalents per liter - an extremely dangerous level of sodium.

The normal range of serum sodium in the blood is 135-145 meq/L. 

The child’s diagnosis was acute hypernatermia.

The defendant provided the medical staff with a medical history for her son, including extensive medical visits, hospitalizations and invasive surgical procedures. This history coupled with an unexplained rise in his sodium levels at Nyack Hospital prompted the doctors at the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit of the WMC to suspect Lacey Spears of harming her son prompting their call to the New York State Office of Children and Family Services – launching an investigation.

On Friday, January 17th, 2014, the defendant brought the victim to Nyack Hospital reporting seizure activity and he is admitted to rule out seizures. 

On Sunday January 19th, 2014 at 10:08 p.m. the victim is airlifted to Westchester Medical Center and admitted.

On Tuesday January 21st 2014, at 7:15 a.m. the code bell goes off. Medical staff respond.

The child is on his back, unresponsive, and barely breathing, both pupils were blown, he was pale gray in color. 

At 11:57 a.m. the head of the Hospital’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit calls in a Child Protective Services report to the State Central Register.

At 12:00 p.m. an EEG showed electro cerebral silence.

During the victim’s stay in both hospitals, the defendant shared the room with him.

Based on the CPS call and referral to law enforcement, an investigation immediately commenced. 

Search warrants are executed on the Spears’ residence.

On Thursday, January 23, 2014, Garnett Spears is declared deceased. 

The defendant surrendered today to the Westchester County police pursuant to a warrant.

The defendant was sent to Westchester County Jail. Her next court appearance will be on July 2nd, 2014.

She faces a maximum sentence of twenty five years to life in prison. 

Assistant District Attorney Doreen Lloyd, Acting Chief of the Child Abuse Bureau and Assistant District Attorney Christine Hatfield, Deputy Chief of the Child Abuse Bureau are prosecuting the case.


Sandra Harrison June 18, 2014 at 10:47 AM
A lot of time to get this one bad mother, and there are lots more out there. From cruelty to abandonment, I wonder why women keep having unwanted children?

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