Mom Who Killed Son With Down's Syndrome By Injecting Hand Sanitizer Into His Feeding Tube Gets 40 Years
A Louisiana mother who confessed to putting hand sanitizer and perfume in her toddler's feeding tube - ultimately killing him - has been sentenced to 40 years behind bars.
Erika Wigstrom, 22, was handed the maximum sentence after she pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the 2014 death of 17-month-old Lucas Ruiz, Plaquemines Parish District Attorney Charles Ballay said on Tuesday. She does not have the possibility of probation.
Her toddler son had Down's syndrome and a heart condition, which left him needing surgery and a feeding tube.
Wigstrom, from Belle Chasse, reportedly described the death as a mercy killing.
Prosecutors say Wigstrom first tried to kill Lucas in October 2012 by injecting perfume into his feeding tube while he was in the hospital for heart surgery, but he survived.
In January 2014, she put hand sanitizer in his feeding tube and he died of alcohol poisoning. He had a blood-alcohol level of .280 - which is more than three times the state's legal driving limit - when he passed away, according to reports.
Lucas' dad, Cesar Ruiz, told authorities that he also fed the baby rum - but police found he was giving false information, and he was given the reduced charge of criminal mischief.
Ruiz was found guilty of that charge in August. Ruiz, who spent more than a year in jail before his family posted his bond, was ordered to pay $850 in fines and fees following his release.
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