Lacey Spears, the so-called “mommy blogger” who was found guilty last month of second-degree murder for poisoning her 5-year-old son with deadly doses of salt, was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years to life in prison for an “orchestrated series of actions” the judge deemed “unfathomable.”
“In many respects your crime is unfathomable in its cruelty, it gives rise to many questions I quite frankly don’t have answers for,” acting state Supreme Court Justice Robert Neary told Spears, according to The Journal News. “This was not a spontaneous or ill-conceived solitary act. It was a serious and orchestrated series of actions that really shock the conscience.”
The prosecution pushed for the maximum sentence of 25 years to life for the death of Spears’s son, Garnett.
The trial lasted 14 days with emotions running high, with the prosecution arguing that Spears forcefully injected lethal doses of salt into her son’s body via feeding tube. Garnett was pronounced dead on Jan. 23, 2014, from high levels of sodium, which led to swelling in his brain.
All the medical experts who testified at the trial agreed that salt poisoning was the cause of death; Spears declined to testify.
“Throughout his short life, Garnett Spears was forced to suffer through repeated hospitalizations, unneeded surgical procedures and ultimately poisoning with salt, all at the hands of the one person who should have been his ultimate protector: his mother. Using the child’s ‘illnesses’ to self aggrandize herself, Lacey Spears’ actions directly lead to her son’s tortured death. Although the sentence imposed today by the Court is lengthily, we will continue to ensure that his mother is held accountable and that justice for Garnett Spears will be served in his memory,” said District Attorney Janet DiFiore.
The defense team, which had previously urged the court to “put emotions aside,” argued that there were no first-account witnesses or clear motives. The team rebutted tapes and evidence of feeding bags found in Spears’s apartment that the prosecution put forward as invalid, saying the tapes could have been edited and the bags may have been tampered with as they were sitting in an unlocked apartment.
Since Garnett was a baby, Spears took to social media sites Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and a personal blog to share updates on his heath, which led to the nickname ”mommy blogger” across the Internet. She shared photos of Garnett up until his death. The prosecution, which deemed Spears a “calculating child killer,” argued that Spears documented false health updates.