A South Carolina mother who gave her infant daughter a
lethal dose of morphine via her breast milk has been sentenced
to 20 years in prison.
Former nurse Stephanie Greene, 39, was convicted in
Spartanburg on Thursday (local time) of homicide by child
abuse, involuntary manslaughter and unlawful neglect of a
"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 defence 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
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
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,