Thursday, June 4, 2009

Austin mom accused of trying to poison daughter

What kind of a sick and twisted mind could come up with something like this. This woman should be locked up for the rest of her sick life.

AUSTIN — An Austin woman has been accused of repeatedly smearing human waste on her 3-year-old daughter’s intravenous feeding line, potentially causing life-threatening infections.

Emily Beth McDonald, 23, was charged with felony injury to a child.

According to an arrest affidavit, a surveillance video at Dell Children’s Medical Center captured McDonald placing feces from a soiled diaper on the cap of a tube with a direct link to the child’s bloodstream.

McDonald was released on a $100,000 personal bond Wednesday. The Austin American-Statesman reported she must wear an electronic monitoring device and comply with a police protective order that prevents her from seeing her three children.

She faces up to life in prison if convicted.

Bob Phillips, an attorney representing McDonald, told the newspaper she is a “fine young woman from a fine family who loves her children very much.”

“I believe that as the facts unfold, the impression people have of this young woman will change for the better,” Phillips said.

The affidavit said that the child was admitted to the hospital April 15 with a high fever and “a long history of chronic diarrhea.” She had a catheter and doctors conducted a blood test, which was positive for foreign bacteria common in feces.

Doctors inserted a feeding tube.

“The medical records showed the child would start getting better, and feces mostly likely would get introduced,” Austin police child abuse Detective Chris Hallas said.

The arrest affidavit also said that hospital staff had to replace the child’s intravenous lines several times because of infections or clots in the lines.

The affidavit said that hospital staff placed a camera in the room based on their concerns and it recorded McDonald’s actions. They reviewed the tape Sunday.

According to the affidavit, police interviewed McDonald, who confessed to wiping the end of the tube with feces five times during the child’s hospital stay and knew that it could make the child severely ill and possibly even kill her.

Officials said relatives are caring for McDonald’s 6-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son.

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