A U.S. woman who poisoned her 15-year-old son with his own faeces while he was on chemotherapy in 2016 is now set to spend more than a half-decade behind bars.
On December 26, the Marion County Superior Court sentenced 44-year-old Tiffany Alberts to seven years of prison, along with five years of probation. Alberts had earlier been convicted in September on six counts of aggravated battery against her son, as well as a count of neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury. However, Alberts wasn’t found guilty of a charge of attempted murder.
According to court documents reviewed by Gizmodo, the son had been getting treatment for his leukemia at the Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis starting in August 2016. In September, he came down with severe complications that necessitated a return to the hospital, where blood tests eventually revealed a life-threatening infection caused by germs normally found in our guts and faeces. But there was no clear medical reason as to how they ended up in his system.
Suspecting foul play, the hospital began videotaping his room. And during a visit to the hospital in mid-November 2016, Alberts was seen injecting something into her son’s intravenous central line several times.
Upon questioning by police, Alberts first claimed that she was trying to flush the IV with water “as the medicine that was given to him burned.” But she soon confessed that she had given him his own faeces, collected in a gift bag. Alberts then claimed that she only did it so that he would be moved from the intensive care unit to elsewhere in the hospital, where he could receive better care.
Nonetheless, the court found that she knowingly or intentionally inflicted injury on her son “that created a substantial risk of death.”
At the time Alberts was charged in late November 2016, according to court documents, the son’s doctors were worried that the incident could have worsened his chances of cancer remission. Once she was removed from his care, however, he did begin to recover from the infection and stabilised. But it’s unclear how the son is doing right now. A spokesperson for the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office told Gizmodo via email that they do not have an update on his current condition.