| CHARLESTON, S.C., April 4
CHARLESTON, S.C., April 4 A South Carolina
mother who gave her infant daughter a lethal dose of morphine
via her breast milk was sentenced on Friday to 20 years in
prison, a prosecutor said.
Former nurse Stephanie Greene, 39, was convicted in
Spartanburg on Thursday of homicide by child abuse, involuntary
manslaughter and unlawful neglect of a child.
"This is not an indictment on breast feeding," said Barry
Barnette, solicitor for the 7th Judicial Circuit. "She loved her
drugs more than she loved her baby."
Greene went to several doctors to obtain morphine and other
painkillers in 2010, but told none of them she was pregnant,
Toxicology tests on her 6-week-old daughter, Alexis, in
November 2010 revealed a lethal amount of morphine and the
presence of at least three other drugs in the baby's system,
Greene's defense argued that not enough of the drugs could
have passed through her breast milk to kill the baby, but no
other evidence for the child's death existed, according to the
A medical expert testified that a child receiving an
overdose of morphine would not gain weight. When Greene's baby
died, she weighed only four ounces more than her birth weight.
"It fit the pattern," Barnette said. "She's a nurse. She
knew the dangers."
Greene faced a possible life sentence and must serve at
least 16 years in prison under South Carolina law. She still
faces 38 charges of fraudulently obtaining drugs, Barnette said.
(Editing by Colleen Jenkins, Cynthia Johnston and Gunna