A South Carolina woman was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Friday after allegedly killing her 6-week-old daughter with what officials say was an overdose of morphine delivered through her breast milk. 

According to prosecutors, 39-year-old Stephanie Green is a former nurse who knew the dangers of taking painkillers while pregnant and breastfeeding, but still chose to conceal her pregnancy so she could keep getting the prescriptions. The decision ended up costing the life of her baby daughter, Alexis.

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Alexis was reportedly born healthy and her mother chose to breastfeed. Forty six days after her birth, Green, who lost her nursing license in 2004 for trying to get drugs illegally, called 911 to report her baby was unconscious in her bed. Though she tried to perform CPR, she had trouble counting to keep pace and 911 responders said she sounded groggy and unfocused. When investigators arrived, they found dozens of pill bottles and painkiller patches on the nightstand, in reach of her and her husband's then 4-year-old son.

Toxicology reports found a level of morphine in the child's body. A review of her medical records showed Green carefully hid her pregnancy from her primary doctor.

Meanwhile, her lawyer maintains that she has been suffering from pain from a car crash more than a decade ago and relied on her own judgment instead of the advice of doctors. Green plans on appealing and the case count continue for years to come.

Now, she will have to serve 16 years before being eligible for parole and her husband is left to raise their son on his own.

This story is tragic on every level. It's clear that Green wasn't a fit parent and that she put herself and even worse, her innocent baby, at risk. Still, my heart breaks for her husband, who has essentially lost his daughter and his wife in one swoop and for her son, who will now have to grow up without his mom.

Image via Thinkstock

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About the author

Michelle Regalado is a Staff Writer at MamásLatinas. She loves reading, travel, pop culture, and writing about anything and everything.

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Filed Under: crime, in the news, parenting
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