US Woman Gets 20 Years in Breast Feeding Overdose - The New Indian Express

US Woman Gets 20 Years in Breast Feeding Overdose

Published: 04th April 2014 10:45 PM

Last Updated: 04th April 2014 10:47 PM

A judge sentenced a woman to 20 years in prison Friday for killing her 6-week-old daughter with what prosecutors say was an overdose of morphine delivered through her breast milk.

Stephanie Greene, 39, said nothing as the minimum sentence was handed down. A jury found the former nurse guilty of homicide by child abuse the day before and she could have faced up to life behind bars.

Her lawyer said she will appeal and it's likely the case will be tied up for years to come. Both the prosecutor and Greene's lawyer agree no mother has ever been prosecuted in the United States for killing her child through a substance transmitted in breast milk.

Greene's daughter Alexis was born healthy, but was found dead in her parents' bed just 46 days after she was born in November 2010.

An autopsy found a level of morphine in the baby's body

that a pathologist testified could have been lethal for an

adult.

With no needle marks on the child's body, authorities

decided the drugs must have gotten into the infant through her

mother's milk, prosecutor Barry Barnette said.

A review of her medical records showed Greene carefully

hid her pregnancy from her primary doctor. After a home

pregnancy test showed she was pregnant, she told her primary

doctor she needed to go to a gynaecologist for a birth

control. She then got prenatal care from that doctor while not

telling her all the painkillers she was taking. She also

skipped appointments with her primary physician when it was

obvious she was pregnant and sent her husband to pick up her

painkiller prescriptions, Barnette said.

"She was a nurse. She knew how to work the system,"

Barnette said. "She caused the loss of that child."

Greene spent more than 10 years racked with chronic pain

after a car wreck before her unexpected pregnancy with her

husband in 2010, attorney Rauch Wise said.

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