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Lacey Spears gets tough prison sentence for killing her son

Rebecca Bracken is a news and views writer.






How much time in prison should Lacey Spears serve for poisoning her son with salt?

After being found guilty of killing her 5-year-old son by injecting fatal levels of salt into his feeding tube, Lacey Spears was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison Wednesday morning.

The 27-year-old Spears is believed to suffer from Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a disorder that causes women to harm their child to get attention and sympathy. Spears was found guilty last month.

Her 5-year-old son, Garnett, died on Jan. 23, 2014.

During the trial, several people testified that Spears' reactions to her son's rapidly failing health were out of the ordinary. For instance, one doctor said that when he told her Garnett's blood work showed elevated sodium levels, she "just had a smile on her face."

Another friend of Spears, Danielle Grossenbacher, gave a chilling account of how badly Garnett was suffering in his final days and how emotionless Spears was about her son's illness.

"When I walked into the room, Garnett was on the bed with hospital staff around him," Grossenbacher testified. "His body was flailing all over the bed, and [she] was unresponsive. I did not see her cry."

Throughout the trial, Spears said she was innocent despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary. Garnett had been treated for salt poisoning as an infant; Spears' online activity showed she had researched the effects of salt poisoning; and she even asked her neighbor to hide Garnett's feeding bags contaminated with salt after the child died.

Perhaps most disgusting was Spears' defense that Garnett played with the feeding tubes and even could have poisoned himself.

"The victim would once in a while play with his feeding tube and could have put something into it," People magazine reports she told the court.

Spears got off relatively easily with the sentence of 20 years to life. Prosecutors had asked for a sentence of 25 years to life.

What do you think? Did Garnett get the justice he deserved?

More on Lacey Spears and Munchausen syndrome

Mommy blogger Lacey Spears found guilty in son's murder
Exclusive: Friends of mom accused of son's poisoning speak out
What you need to know about Munchausen by proxy

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