Mother Arrested in Death of Chronically Ill 5-Year-Old Boy

Thursday, Jun 19, 2014  |  Updated 3:33 PM EDT
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The mother of a 5-year-old chronically ill boy who died in a Westchester hospital earlier this year has been arrested on charges of depraved murder and manslaughter, prosecutors announced Tuesday.  Michael George reports.

NBC 4 New York

The mother of a 5-year-old chronically ill boy who died in a Westchester hospital earlier this year has been arrested on charges of depraved murder and manslaughter, prosecutors announced Tuesday. Michael George reports.

The mother of a 5-year-old chronically ill boy who died in a Westchester hospital earlier this year has been arrested on charges of depraved murder and manslaughter, prosecutors announced Tuesday.

Lacey Spears, 26, of Scottsville, Kentucky, is accused of killing her son Garnett-Paul Spears, whose death has been under investigation since January

Prosecutors say the boy had been admitted to Westchester Medical Center on Jan. 19 with suspiciously high sodium levels. On Jan. 21, while his mother was still in the hospital room with him, a code bell went off and medical staff rushed to Garnett's room to find him unresponsive and barely breathing, with both pupils blown and pale-gray in color.

He was declared dead on Jan. 23. 

Garnett had an extensive medical history that included numerous medical visits, hospitalizations and invasive surgical procedures, according to prosecutors. And before he was admitted to Westchester Medical Center, his mother had taken him to Nyack Hospital for reported seizures -- and that's where his sodium levels rose dangerously without any medical explanation. 

Spears had also stayed in the same hospital room as her son at Nyack, prosecutors said. 

Westchester Medical Center staffers called in a child protective services report, and after an investigation that included executing search warrants at Spears' home, an arrest warrant was issued for the mother, who left the state after Garnett died. 

Spears turned herself in to Westchester police Tuesday. She's next expected to appear in court July 2. Attorney information wasn't immediately clear. 

Garnett lived with his mother Lacey Spears at the Fellowship Community complex in Chestnut Ridge, a self-described social service care community licensed by the state Department of Health.

Lacey Spears reportedly described his final days and previous illnesses on Facebook. Law enforcement sources previously said her Facebook postings were part of the investigation.

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