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Orange County

Mom Pleads Guilty in Drugging of Son

May 24, 2003|From Times Wire Services

A Stanton woman who planned to kill herself after feeding her 5-year-old autistic son several Xanax pills pleaded guilty Friday to child endangerment and was sentenced to a year in a live-in counseling facility and five years' probation.

An Orange County Superior Court judge ordered Heidi Shelton, 38, to a Costa Mesa facility, where she will get counseling and therapy, defense attorney Allan Stokke told City News Service.

Shelton, who has been held at Orange County Jail in lieu of $1-million bail since her Dec. 9 arrest, will go to the facility today, Stokke said.

She could have received up to nine years in prison if convicted of attempted murder and child endangerment charges.

After giving her son five Xanax pills, Shelton tried to overdose herself. According to testimony at an earlier hearing, she left a suicide note giving all her assets to autism research.

The boy lives with Shelton's mother, but could begin seeing his mother again soon, the attorney said.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Karen Schatzle could not be reached for comment. She asked the court to dismiss the attempted murder charge and accept Shelton's plea, Stokke said.

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