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May 8, 2007 permalink
A Toledo mother has been convicted of poisoning her own son in a case of Munchausen syndrome by proxy. This legal theory has been discredited in every case in which adequate resources were applied to convince the courts. In the current case, the mother has no resources and has to rely on volunteer help. Those volunteers report that the case for toxic mold is scientifically perfect. The jury never heard that the mother suffered the same symptoms as her sick son. The test that revealed ipecac is non-specific, and can produce a positive result from other causes as well. Courtroom theatrics were used to discredit the defense scientific evidence. Defense counsel may advise the mother to admit to a crime that never happened to avoid eight years in prison.
Mother found guilty of poisoning her son
Boy sick for months, apparently from drug
By ERICA BLAKE, BLADE STAFF WRITER
Nearly two years after her son was taken away from her, Carrie Weaver last night was found guilty of felony child endangering in what Lucas County prosecutors called a case of Munchausen syndrome by proxy.
Weaver, 28, of Toledo was surrounded by tearful family members as she left the courtroom, ending the emotional, weeklong trial that focused predominantly on medical testimony.
She faces up to eight years in prison when she is sentenced June 8 by Judge James Jensen. Until then, she is free on bond.
Weaver was indicted in October, 2005, on the child endangering charge, about five months after her son was removed from her care.
Prosecutors accused her of giving her son chronic doses of Ipecac, an over-the-counter product that induces vomiting.
Calling it a case of Munchausen syndrome by proxy, prosecutors presented evidence that showed Weaver not as the doting mother at her sick son's bedside, but as the person who made her son ill to bring attention to herself.
"We're absolutely pleased. We've been working on this for two whole years," said Lori Olander, an assistant county prosecutor. "Munchausen by proxy cases, those are all very difficult. We had seven different doctors testify that we had Munchausen by proxy."
Throughout the trial, prosecutors interviewed the many doctors who cared for Weaver's son through his illness. The pediatric specialists testified that they were unable to make a diagnosis until the boy was transferred to a hospital in Michigan where a doctor recognized signs of Ipecac poisoning.
The boy, now 11, testified on the first day of the trial that the illnesses that plagued him during 2004-05 have stopped since he was removed from his mother's care.
He recalled the many days spent in hospitals and the times he spent vomiting and having trouble breathing.
Yesterday, Ms. Olander said that the boy, who now lives with his father, is doing well and is healthy.
Defense attorneys showed a different side of Weaver by questioning family and friends about her character and her dedication as a mother.
Attorney Lorin Zaner also presented evidence suggesting that what ailed Weaver's son was not Ipecac but toxic mold in the home where the two lived with Weaver's mother.
Mr. Zaner called a certified mold inspector and a pathology expert to testify that mold was found in the home and that it was the cause of the boy's heart problems.
The jury of nine women and three men deliberated for about four hours before reaching a verdict just after 9 last night.
Contact Erica Blake at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-213-2134.
Source: Toledo Blade