Hardwick mom convicted of killing disabled son loses Vt. Supreme Court appeal

Published: May. 17, 2019 at 11:21 AM EDT
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A Hardwick mother convicted of putting vodka in her disabled son's feeding tube has lost an appeal to the Vermont Supreme Court.

Melissa Robitille is serving a four-year sentence after a jury convicted her in 2017 for involuntary manslaughter for the death of her 13-year-old son, Isaac.

Prosecutors say when Isaac had a bad night in August 2014, Robitille and her boyfriend dumped vodka in the tube to keep him quiet. The boy died soon after from alcohol poisoning.

Her lawyers argued that the state did not produce sufficient evidence to support that she delivered the fatal dose of alcohol, among other arguments.

"Although I.R.'s doctors would not have expected one ounce of alcohol to kill him, he weighed forty-nine pounds at the time; he was extremely vulnerable to fluid imbalances due to his diabetes insipidus and other conditions; even a small amount of alcohol could be fatal," said the ruling.

Robitille's boyfriend, Walter Richters, was also convicted in the manslaughter death and was sentenced to three years.

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