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Lawyer: Don't prejudge woman in son's poison death

  • Associated Press
  • Published Wednesday, July 16, 2014, at 12:09 p.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, July 16, 2014, at 6:49 p.m.

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— A lawyer asked the public Wednesday not to rush to judgment in the case of a young mother accused of killing her 5-year-old son by poisoning him with salt, but he offered no details in her defense.

Lacey Spears "looks forward to her day in court and the opportunity to challenge the allegations," attorney Stephen Riebling said after a brief court session.

"We continue to trust the people will keep an open mind and not judge Lacey or the facts of this case based on what's been reported," he said. "The defense of this case will be focused on the relevant facts, not fiction."

He would not elaborate.

Spears, 26, was not in court. Riebling would not comment on how she is doing behind bars. A sister, Rebecca Spears, was in court but would not comment afterward.

Lacey Spears, of Scottsville, Kentucky, pleaded not guilty last month on charges of depraved murder and manslaughter in the death of Garnett-Paul Spears.

The boy died in January at the Westchester Medical Center when, prosecutors say, his sodium levels rose to an extremely dangerous level with no medical explanation. Spears, then living in Chestnut Ridge, was sharing her son's hospital room — he had been brought there after suffering seizures — and doctors thought she might be harming him. Prosecutors believe she administered sodium through a feeding tube in his stomach.

Spears, who is originally from Decatur, Alabama, for years had chronicled on social media what she said were the boy's various medical crises.

The depraved murder charge alleges extreme recklessness rather than intentional killing. It carries the same maximum sentence, 25 years to life in prison.

Spears' lawyers have not yet filed the paperwork that would be required if they plan to offer a psychiatric defense. They would not comment Wednesday on whether that was being contemplated.

Acting state Supreme Court Judge Robert Neary gave the defense until September to file motions. He set Oct. 13 for the next court date.

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