WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A mother accused of fatally poisoning her 5-year-old son is one step closer to a trial following a court appearance Thursday in White Plains.

Lacey Spears, 27, of Scottsville, Kentucky, stood between her lawyers with her hands cuffed behind her back as Judge Richard Molea set January court dates ahead of a trial on murder and manslaughter charges.

Spears is accused of poisoning her son, Garnett-Paul Spears, by dumping toxic levels of sodium into his feeding tube. Garnett was brought to Nyack Hospital on Jan. 17 with seizure-like symptoms before being transferred to Westchester Medical Center on Jan. 19 after his sodium levels rose with no medical explanation. He died several days later.

There are many questions about Spears’ state of mind, WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane reported.

Prosecutors suggest Spears suffers from Munchausen syndrome by proxy, harming her child for sympathy and attention.

Spears has claimed in the past that she has two other children and a fiancé, but prosecutors said that they believe those individuals never existed, Murnane reported. The prosecution is looking to use the statements as trial evidence and a hearing will determine whether they’ll be allowed.

The prosecution also wants to present evidence that a hospital in Alabama previously found high levels of salt in the boy, who would’ve celebrated his sixth birthday last week.

Spears’ attorney, Stephen Riebling, had little to say outside the courthouse.

“We’re not going to make any comments regarding what happened today other than we’re happy to have a trial date,” Riebling said.

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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