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Augusta mother faces murder charge

Thursday, Aug 14, 2014 9:58 AM
Last updated 9:50 PM
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Charges against an Augusta mother whose son died after being taken to a hospital have been upgraded to second-degree murder, police said Thursday.

Mary Katherine Smith, 39, of Hephzibah, was jailed July 31 on a charge of second-degree cruelty to children soon after her 2-year-old son, Mason, was hospitalized. He was on life support until his Aug. 3 death.

She told investigators that Mason has a syndrome that causes him to hold his breath until he passes out. She said he fell July 30 while she was making him sit in the corner of his room.

Police said Smith, a licensed practical nurse, shook and slapped the boy in an attempt to revive him. Three hours later, they say, she sought medical attention after his oxygen level dipped to a dangerous level.

The child experienced a similar incident last year and was taken to the hospital, but he was released without treatment.

An arrest warrant said medical staffers found retinal hemorrhaging behind both of the boy’s eyes, minimal brain activity, healing rib fractures on the right side and a herniated bleed
on the left side of the brain.

At a preliminary hearing Tuesday, Assistant Dis­trict Attorney Shawn Merzlak said court officials were working to take a homicide case against Smith to the grand jury as early as next week. The upgraded
charges were announced by the sheriff’s office.
The preliminary cause of death was blunt impact head trauma, but the manner is homicide, officials said.

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AFjoe 08/14/14 - 02:57 pm
If Charges are true

I hope she gets what she deserves, plus some. Based on the story this has been going on for some time.

Darby 08/14/14 - 05:27 pm
Ma Barker

was a mom too, so I guess it takes all kinds.

corgimom 08/14/14 - 07:35 pm
If he truly does have a

If he truly does have a syndrome that causes him to faint, she'll get off.

Why was he released last year and not treated?

Butterman 08/15/14 - 12:09 pm
Capital Punishment

This is a case that was tailor made for capital punishment.

GiantsAllDay 08/15/14 - 02:34 pm
Whenever I see a headline

Whenever I see a headline such as this one I rarely read the article. Now I wish I hadn't read this one.

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