Monday, January 20, 2003

SoCal mom awaits trial after son ingests meth through milk"AP Wire | 01/20/2003 | Posted on Mon, Jan. 20, 2003

PERRIS, Calif. - Prosecutors have charged a 30-year-old mother of three with second-degree murder after investigators said her infant son died when he ingested methamphetamine through her breast milk.

The prosecution of Amy Prien for the death of 3-month-old Jacob Wesley Smith could lead to the first conviction of its kind in California, according to legal experts.

"She knew the drugs were dangerous, but it was more important to her to have the self-gratification," said Deputy District Attorney Michele Levine. "Responsibility for Jacob's death falls at her feet."

No trial date has been set, but authorities said they hope to begin next month. Prien faces the possibility of life in prison if convicted.

Prien has denied taking methamphetamine at the time of Jacob's death last year and said she is the victim of overzealous prosecutors.

"I'm not the person they say I am," Prien told the Los Angeles Times in an article published Monday. "And they know it."

Court documents alleged Prien, who is free on $100,000 bail, used a variety of drugs including PCP, LSD and methamphetamine.

"I never used speed when I was pregnant or when I was breast-feeding," Prien told detectives, according to court documents.

Prien said she believes a roommate may have been involved, although authorities said they have ruled him out.

"This has been very poorly handled," said Jacob's grandfather, Jack Haskins. "Amy is like any other kind of woman. She has her ups and downs. She's a little strong-willed. But she would never hurt those children."..."