A Virginia Mother Is Charged With Murder

Charged With Murder

According to police, a Virginia mother has been charged with murder and felony child neglect after her 4-year-old son died from eating THC gummies.

A grand jury indicted Dorothy Annette Clements, 30, of Spotsylvania on charges related to her son’s May death.

During a visit to Fredericksburg, about 11 miles away from Spotsylvania, Clements failed to get her son help quickly after he was found unresponsive on May 6.

According to police, the boy died two days later after consuming a ‘large amount’ of gummies.

The cause of death was determined by an autopsy to be THC – the ingredient in marijuana that gets people high.

According to authorities, a doctor told detectives that the boy could have been saved if he had received medical attention earlier.

In an interview with NBC Washington, Clements said she called poison control after her son ate half a CBD gummy, and officials told her he was fine.

NBC Washington reports that a detective found an empty THC gummy jar in the house where Clements was found, despite Clements’ claims.

The murder charge against Clements carries a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison.

According to online records, her arraignment is scheduled for Nov. 1.

Cannabis edibles can cause serious and sometimes life-threatening side effects in children, according to Poison Control.

In addition to vomiting, dizziness, difficulty walking, rapid heart rate, drowsiness, confusion, and breathing difficulties, THC edibles can also cause hallucinations, low blood pressure, and abnormally slow heart rates in severe cases, according to Poison Control.

“Children and their caregivers should call poison control regardless of whether symptoms are present,” the organization advises.

The appearance of THC gummies makes them extra risky to leave around children, say experts.

A pediatric emergency room physician at Inova Loudoun Hospital in Leesburg, Dr. Jill McCabe, told NBC Washington, the packaging of the gummies is typically not childproof, and because they look like candy, most children will ingest them when they see them.

A parent should immediately seek emergency medical care if their child is “having difficulty breathing, not breathing well, having a seizure, having difficulty walking, very lethargic, [or] persistently vomiting,” McCabe advised.

There have been a number of recent incidents in which children have been hospitalized after eating foods laced with THC.

An 11-year-old and a 5-year-old were hospitalized after eating THC-laced “Medicated Nerds Rope” from a food bank in Utah in 2020.

The mother of a 5-year-old boy was arrested a year earlier after her son brought gummies laced with THC to his Cleveland elementary school, resulting in nine children being hospitalized.

A 12-year-old Florida boy allegedly handed out marijuana-laced gummy bears during gym class in 2018, causing at least 5 middle school students to be taken to the hospital.

“The first reported pediatric death associated with cannabis,” according to medical experts, occurred in 2015 when an 11-month-old baby boy died in Colorado, but the baby was officially reported to have died of myocarditis, a form of inflammation of the heart muscle, and other experts questioned whether cannabis contributed to his death.

John Nightbridge is a veteran reporter, researcher, and economic policy major from UCLA. Passionate about world issues and potential ways to solve them is a significant focus of his work. Writing freelance and reading the news are John's passions at work. Outside of work, it's all about sky diving, surfing, and stock market modeling.