A South Carolina mother has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for killing her six-week-old daughter with an overdose of morphine delivered through her breast milk.
Prosecutors said Stephanie Greene, 39, was a nurse and knew the dangers of taking painkillers while pregnant and breast feeding, but chose to conceal her pregnancy from doctors to keep getting her prescriptions.
She lost her nursing license in 2004 for trying to get drugs illegally.
However Greene’s lawyer said she was only trying to stop debilitating pain from a car crash more than a decade before and relied on her own judgment and medical research on the Internet instead of the advice of doctors.
The lawyer said Greene is still overwhelmed with grief from the loss of her child, Alexis Catherine Greene, in 2010.
The 20-year sentence was the minimum after a Spartanburg County jury found Greene guilty of homicide by child abuse. She could have faced up to life behind bars.
Greene will have to serve 16 years before she is eligible for parole.
She said nothing in court today and quietly shuffled out of the courtroom, her hands and feet shackled, after she was sentenced.