WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — It's time for defense lawyers to disclose their strategy in the case of a young mother accused of fatally poisoning her 5-year-old son with salt and documenting his decline on social media.
Lacey Spears, 27, of Scottsville, Kentucky, is charged with depraved murder and manslaughter in the death last year of Garnett-Paul Spears at a hospital in the New York suburbs.
Opening statements began Tuesday.
Prosecutors say Spears fed her son large amounts of salt through a gastrointestinal feeding tube, causing brain swelling, seizures and death. They believe she administered the salt in his hospital room after he was admitted for seizures.
Garnett's death ended a short life filled with doctor and hospital visits that his mother tirelessly documented in thousands of postings on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and a blog.
Many of the postings will be in evidence, along with Spears' online research into the dangers of sodium in children and hospital records from New York, Florida and Spears' native Alabama. Also in evidence is a feeding bag prosecutors believe was used to hold the salt — and which they say she tried to hide in a cover-up after Garnett's death.
Defense attorneys fought the introduction of much of that evidence but have not publicly disclosed their strategy for Spears' defense. They have insisted that there will be no mention of Munchausen by proxy, a disorder in which caretakers secretly harm children to win sympathy. Some experts believe that disorder fits Spears' actions.