WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Westchester mother accused of fatally poisoning her 5-year-old son faced a judge Wednesday.
Judge Robert Neary denied all defense motions and sent the case of the death of 5-year-old Garnett Spears to an assignment judge so a trial can be put on the calendar.
Spears is accused of poisoning the boy at Westchester County Medical Center by dumping toxic levels of sodium into his feeding tube.
Prosecutors suggest she suffers from Munchausen syndrome by proxy, harming her child for sympathy and attention.
Her lawyers are having none of it, CBS 2’s Lou Young reported.
“One of the things that we should always be careful about is what the popular perception of things are,” defense lawyer Stephen Riebling said. “There’s a lot of things that can be said — speculation, rumor. Our job is to deal with the relevant facts.”
Throughout the brief two-minute hearing, Spears looked dour and grim, nodding once silently as an attorney whispered to her, Young reported.
Her appearance wasn’t required, but she apparently insisted.
“She always wants to appear,” defense lawyer David Sachs said.
The courtroom was crowded with investigators from Rockland County, where Spears and her son lived before he died in January, as well as Westchester County, where the boy passed away, Young reported.
The investigation involved visits to their former homes in Florida and Alabama, as well as Facebook and Twitter posts about the boy’s condition posted by Spears.
Spears has pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree depraved murder and first-degree manslaughter. She faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison if convicted.
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