A woman and her boyfriend had been charged with involuntary manslaughter after pouring vodka in the woman’s son’s feeding tube in order to keep him quiet.
Following three years after the disabled son died of alcohol poisoning, 43-year-old Melissa Robitille from Hardwick, Vermont, USA, was sentenced to 4 to 12 years in prison.
As the prosecutors claimed, Melissa and her partner, Walter Richters, poured the alcoholic drink in 13-year-old Isaac’s feeding tube because he was throwing a fuss.
Following the measures taken to keep him quiet, however, the boy died of poisoning. Isaac had been suffering from a severe brain abnormality that required his caretakers to provide non-stop care.
While the couple appealed to the court’s decision arguing there wasn’t enough evidence that the dose of alcohol was fatal for the boy, they lost their appeal.
“Although Isaac Robitille’s doctors would not have expected one ounce of alcohol to kill him, he weighed forty-nine pounds at the time; he was extremely vulnerable to fluid imbalances due to his diabetes insipidus and other conditions; even a small amount of alcohol could be fatal,” The Vermont Supreme Court ruling read.
Richters, who was also found guilty of manslaughter, was sentenced to 3 years in jail for playing a vital role in the 13-year-old’s death.
During the autopsy, the Vermont Medical Examiner discovered that Isaac’s blood alcohol content was almost 0.15%. While the boy’s brain condition was determined to be the cause of death, alcohol content was listed as a major contributing factor.
Isaac, who required at least 80 hours of intensive care per week, was not only suffering from developmental delays but was also blind, had a cleft palate, and had no ears. In order for the boy to survive, he had to be fed a special diet consisting of vitamins and baby formula via a feeding tube.
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