CRIME

Jurors In Lacey Spears Trial Shown Graphic Video Of Boy Suffering Before He Died Of Salt Poisoning

02/10/2015 10:13 am ET | Updated Feb 10, 2015
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Jurors in the trial of a mother accused of killing her son with salt injections saw graphic video Monday that showed the boy retching and suffering just days before he died.

The footage was among 40 videos played by prosecutors in the trial of Lacey Spears, a "mommy blogger" who documented her son's failing health online in tens of thousands of entries over his short lifetime. The single mother, who is originally from Alabama, is on trial in New York on charges of depraved murder and manslaughter in the January 2014 death of her 5-year-old son, Garnett-Paul.

The videos seen in court show the boy's shocking decline just days before his death, according to the Journal-News. While Garnett appeared alert and responsive in the beginning of his stay on Jan. 18, his condition deteriorated by the next day, when his salt levels spiked and he was transferred to Maria Fareri Children's Hospital in Valhalla, New York. He died there Jan. 23, 2014.

Spears, who shared a room at the hospital with her son, came under investigation shortly before his death from what medical examiners determined to be salt poisoning. Prosecutors argued that Lacey fed Garnett dangerous levels of salt through a feeding tube in his stomach. They suggested that she administered the salt during frequent trips to the bathroom shown in the videos.

"This mother was intentionally feeding her child salt at toxic levels," prosecutor Doreen Lloyd said at Spears' arraignment last month. Garnett suffered a swollen brain, seizures and death as a result, they said.

Although the defense has attempted to portray Spears as a loving mother via cellphone records, those same records have been used against her by the prosecution. For example, the prosecution honed in on Google searches for "dangers of high sodium" and "hypernatremia" (elevated blood sodium) made on her phone nine days before Garnett died.

Other evidence against the woman includes bags used to feed the boy, which were found to contain "extraordinary" levels of sodium. According to the Associated Press, the prosecution contends Spears attempted a cover-up by asking a friend to take a feeding bag.

"Get rid of it and don't tell anybody," Spears told her friend, according to prosecutors.

Correction: A previous version of this article misspelled Garnett Spears' name. We regret this error and have corrected it.

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