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Breast Milk Trial Deadlocks

August 09, 1994| Associated Press

BAKERSFIELD — A jury has deadlocked in the case of a Bakersfield woman charged with murdering her infant through drug-laced breast milk.

The Kern County Superior Court jury on Monday deadlocked 11-1 in favor of convicting Karen Henderson, 21. But the jury did find Henderson guilty of felony child endangerment. She could receive up to six years in prison when she is sentenced Sept. 6.

A court hearing has been scheduled for this morning to determine whether Henderson will be retried on the murder charge.

Henderson's 2-month-old son, Jason, died in September of methamphetamine poisoning from his mother's breast milk, prosecutors said. Defense attorneys argued that the baby died of sudden infant death syndrome.

The case is believed to be the first of its kind in the United States in which a murder charge has been filed against a woman for allegedly passing contaminated breast milk to her child.

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