Murder-by-breast milk case gets national attention
A Humboldt County woman accused of murdering her infant by breast feeding him while addicted to methamphetamine is making national headlines, including in the New York Times.
The incident happened last year, but the murder charge was added this week after a preliminary hearing. Prosecutor Ben McLaughlin says he thinks he can prove it was murder, but also appears to be pursuing the elevated charge in hopes that it will give a “meth-addicted mother pause before she breast-feeds.”
Her lawyer, M.C. Bruce says the DA’s office is going overboard.
”I’m very angry,” Bruce told the Times-Standard. “I think it’s piling on and picking on a poor woman who has already suffered a horrible tragedy in her life.”
More from the NYT:
“I think that her conduct is, or was, so intentionally reckless that it rises to the level of implied malice,” said Ben McLaughlin, a deputy district attorney in Humboldt County. “And I think that a mother who is breast-feeding using the quantity of methamphetamine she did, I think that rises to a second-degree murder charge.”…
“This is an overcharge,” Mr. Bruce said, adding that Ms. Wortmon was an addict, not a killer. “It makes her out to be a terrible, horrible person who needs to be locked away for the rest of her life. And my client is not that person.”