Missouri mother Rachel Kinsella was found guilty of covertly poisoning her 9-year-old son over the course of a year with prescription drugs. The jury decided that Kinsella had deliberately misled doctors about the medicine she was administering to her child.
According to STL Today, Kinsella's son Patrick was removed from his mother's care after a hospital visit in 2015. In 2014, Patrick had seizures at school and was hospitalized for upwards of ten months.
Kinsella had purchased medicine from pharmacies in the area, despite having received the appropriate drugs from the hospital. She did not tell doctors and pharmicists that her son was already getting treatment.
Doctors were perplexed by Patrick's symptoms which included seizures, hallucinations, and problems walking and breathing. He was given dozens of blood treatments and surgeries while experts attempted to figure out what was wrong. Now living with his grandparents, Patrick now has no major health problems.
"I never tried to hide anything," Kinsella told the court, denying allegations of abuse and mistreatment. "My son is everything to me. My mistakes are not what I was accused of — not even close." Kinsella had maintaned that she had "accidentally" given her son the incorrect amounts of medication on a few occasions and that hospitals had mishandled her son's treatment, but doctors deduced that the child had been intentionally poisoned. Police have suggested that the situation is an example of Munchausen syndrome by proxy, with one prosecutor suggesting that Kinsella had kept her child sick in order to gain access to his inheritance left to him by his deceased father.
“She manufactured illnesses,” Assistant Prosecutor Sheila Whirley had told jurors. “People don’t want to believe that a mother would do this because mothers are supposed to plant the seeds of love that grow for a lifetime.”
“I have no doubt that she loves her son as much as any parent,” countered Gregory Smith, one of Kinsella's lawyers.
Kinsella was given a 25 year sentence for the assault charge and seven more to be served concurrently for child endangerment, the maximum recommended by prosecutors. Her lawyers plan on appealing the decision.
[Photo: St Louis County]
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