Woman jailed for 20 years for killing baby with ‘morphine breast milk’

A South Carolina woman who killed her

baby daughter by giving her what

prosecutors say was a fatal dose of

morphine through her breast milk has been

jailed for 20 years.

Former nurse Stephanie Greene, 39, was

convicted in Spartanburg on Friday of

homicide by child abuse, involuntary

manslaughter and unlawful conduct toward

a child.

Six-week-old Alexis died of respiratory

failure on 13 November 2010 – a toxicology

report from the baby's autopsy found a

level of morphine in the child's body that a

pathologist testified could have been lethal

for an adult.

Prosecutor Barry Barnette said Greene knew

the dangers of taking painkillers while

pregnant and breastfeeding and had

obtained the prescription drugs by

concealing her pregnancy from doctors. She

lost her nursing license in 2004 for trying

to get drugs illegally.

Greene's lawyer said she was only trying to

stop debilitating pain from a car crash more

than a decade before and relied on her own

judgment and medical research on the

internet instead of the advice of doctors and

is still overwhelmed with grief from the loss

of her child.

Both the prosecutor and Greene's lawyer

agreed that no mother has ever been

prosecuted in the United States for killing

her child through a substance transmitted

in breast milk.

And Greene's lawyer Rauch Wise said that

prosecutors couldn't prove how the baby

got the morphine and there is little

scientific evidence that enough morphine

can gather in breast milk to kill an infant.

Greene's husband did not talk to reporters,

but Wise said he supported his wife and was

devastated as he prepared to raise their 7-

year-old son alone.

Greene's fourth pregnancy in 2010 was

unplanned, but she and her husband of 10

years joyously accepted the surprise, her

lawyer said. She has two children from a

previous marriage.

Alexis was born healthy, and her mother

chose to breast feed, but forty-six days later,

Greene called medics to report her baby was

unconscious in her bed.

On a recording of the call, she sounded

groggy and unfocused and investigators at

the scene found dozens of pill bottles and

painkiller patches on her nightstand where

the couple's then 4-year-old son could get to


Greene, who could have faced life behind

bars, will have to serve 16 years in prison

before she is eligible for parole.


Kofi Oppong Kyekyeku

I am a Ghanaian Broadcast Journalist/Writer who has an interest in General News, Sports, Entertainment, Health, Lifestyle and many more.

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