GUILTY MT - Dane Heggem, 1, drugged, suffocated at Laurel day care, 31 Jan 2003

Discussion in 'Recently Sentenced and Beyond' started by mysteriew, Aug 23, 2005.

  1. mysteriew

    mysteriew A diamond in process

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    A toxicologist who studies the effects of drugs on children told jurors Monday that the only plausible explanation for the death of toddler Dane Heggem was that he suffocated in his sleep after being given a dose of allergy medication.

    "I think he was sedated. Then he was put or got on his stomach, his face was resting at the bottom of his playpen, and he didn't breathe enough because he was sedated," said Dr. Philip Walson a pediatric toxicologist/pharmacologist at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. "He stopped breathing, and then his heart stopped."

    Prosecutors say Tiny Tots day-care center operator Sabine Bieber gave Dane and at least three other children in her care doses of liquid diphenhydramine — an antihistamine found in Benadryl — with their lunches to get them to sleep.

    Heggem had elevated levels of diphenhydramine in his blood and urine at the time of his death, and investigators found evidence of antihistamines in the diapers of other Tiny Tots children in her care.

    Bieber admits she purchased more than 63 bottles of Diphedryl brand diphenhydramine in the two years leading up to Dane's Jan. 31, 2003, death, but she denies giving Dane any medication the day he died.
    http://www.courttv.com/trials/bieber/082205_ctv.html
     
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  3. gangsta

    gangsta Former Member

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    mysteriew your signature says it all for me...I feel exactly the same way and that fits this case very well! just when .....I think she can get up to 60 years if and when found guilty. I think it cannot be refuted that she used these drugs as a sedative often to subdue children for her control.

    The sad side effect to these cases is that evry good and reputable day cares must once again go over the top to proove themselves NOT abusing children. I am sure they do not mind in one regard to assure parents of child sfatey...but as usual it only takes one to mess it for all people and the one thing parents are paranoid about is the the safety of their children, stories like this cause so much anxiety for them now above everything else.
     
  4. Boilly

    Boilly New Member

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    Is her defense that Dane found the medicine himself and drank it or is it that his parents (or someone else) gave him the stuff? I'm not sure how that can account for the fact that other babies at her daycare had Benedryl in their systems then. Anyone have any thoughts on this case?
     
  5. gangsta

    gangsta Former Member

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    boilly, when I watched NG last night they seem to take it for granted that she said that she did it so he would nap...they did say there was evidence in others childrens diapers? and I think it is too coincidental to be soemone else. Also did you see how many bottles she bought in such a short time. I have many allergies but in my lifetime I have not used that many bottles.
     
  6. Boilly

    Boilly New Member

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    Thanks gangsta for your reply. I agree. Also - Sabine pleaded guilty and filed a law suit against Costco claiming they did not have an adequate warning labels on their medicine. Then she withdrew her guilty plea and went to court. I really don't see what her defense could be. They found bottles of the stuff in her house and receipts for dozens more. I think I even remember reading that one little 4-year old boy told investigators that they always got "black medicine" with their lunch. Also, lunch was at 10:30 am and Dane was found not breathing at 2:45 or so. No explination for that.
     
  7. mysteriew

    mysteriew A diamond in process

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    Denise Smith testified in District Court this morning under cross-examination that she did not know if children at the Tiny Tots Day Care were given doses of an allergy medicine without parent approval.

    Smith, a former co-owner of the day care and co-defendant in the negligent homicide case against Bieber, ended her testimony by agreeing with Assistant Attorney General Carlo Canty that the children could have been given the allergy medicine without her knowledge.

    The trial before Judge Gregory Todd is expected to last through the week. Assistant Attorneys General Carlo Canty and Kathy Seeley are prosecuting Bieber.

    Smith was charged in the case two years ago, but the charges were later dismissed when prosecutors said they did not have enough information to convict her. During opening statements, Canty said Costco store records show Bieber bought 63 12-ounce bottles of a generic antihistamine during a period of 23 months.
    http://www.billingsgazette.com/inde.../2005/08/23/build/local/28-tiny-tot-trial.inc
     
  8. gangsta

    gangsta Former Member

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    You know mysteriew I was NOT impressed with her testimony. I found her too passive and elusive... she may truly not know but I find her lack of outrage and proper affect to be strange!...
     
  9. mysteriew

    mysteriew A diamond in process

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    Well, let's see. She was a partner to someone who was drugging kids, so that they would sleep all day. Does anyone really believe she didn't think anything was strange about kids that sleep all day? After being given their "lunch" at 10:30 am? After they take their black medicine? She had already been charged once, but charges were dropped, because they couldn't find actual proof. But do I think she is going to tell the truth on the witness stand?
     
  10. lcookster

    lcookster New Member

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    Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I would like to follow this. I am so disgusted I can't even stand it. God love those poor parents. And can you imagine being the parents of those other kids if evidence was found in their diapers?????? I agree, the partner had to know something. awful.
     
  11. gangsta

    gangsta Former Member

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    mysteriew that is exactly what I mean!

    How can she say she didnot know that the children were being drugged when this is not a new issue for them! How can she ignore the behavior of the children, sleeping all the time as you say! No, this partner knew what was going on I have no doubt...even if I only can rely on her lack of affect....something stinks in Pleasantville and it aint the diapers. And my hat of the the GENIUS who got on that evidence that fast..great job!
     
  12. mysteriew

    mysteriew A diamond in process

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    Testimony from the state's final witness, lead investigator Agent Gary Hatfield, continued Wednesday with a lengthy cross-examination.

    The defense accused the detective of conducting a lopsided investigation, pinning Bieber as the one who dosed the children without fully investigating the parents.

    The most compelling evidence prosecutors presented against Bieber appeared to be the two years' worth of Costco records, showing that the day care owner had purchased more than 63 12-ounce bottles of Diphedryl allergy medication before Dane's death on Jan. 31, 2003.

    Each bottle of Diphedryl contains about 72 teaspoons. Under consistent administration of the medication during a five-day week, 63 bottles over a 23-month period would equal about 10 teaspoons per day.

    The defense called Dr. Ashraf Mozayani, chief toxicologist for the Harris County medical examiner's office in Houston, to refute the conclusion on Dane's autopsy report that his death was a homicide due to an overdose of diphenhydramine.

    Mozayani pointed to the Montana crime lab's erratic toxicology results as evidence of shabby lab procedures.

    She also faulted Dane's medical examiner, Dr. Kenneth Mueller, for not extracting a piece of the baby's heart for genetic testing.

    Mueller should have collected tissues for genetic testing, the witness said, to rule out preexisting genetic abnormalities.

    "I don't think Dr. Mueller did his job well," she said. "Not for law enforcement, not for the family."

    But she lost her composure when asked about her own personal experience with faulty genetics.
    http://www.courttv.com/trials/bieber/082405_ctv.html
     
  13. tennessee

    tennessee Blew out my flipflop. Stepped on a pop top . . .

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    I think that maybe this happens more often than we imagine. There were rumors about the daycare my daugher was in when she was a toddler. I pulled her out. My mother stopped by on more than one occasion to pick her up early and all the kids from infant to preschool were asleep. Every time. Mom said my little girl was very sleepy for a couple of hours after she picked her up. I also heard that the owner was investigated more than once over this. I am thankful I had another alternative to taking her there.
     
  14. mysteriew

    mysteriew A diamond in process

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    And I am thankful that your mother stopped by, and that you were alert enough to be suspicious. I didn't do it on a regular basis, but every sitter I ever had- I would take some time off work and show up early at the sitter's unexpectedly. Gave me a better idea of what was going on during the day. I never found any problems, but I felt better, knowing I had checked the sitter out.
     
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  15. mysteriew

    mysteriew A diamond in process

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    A former day-care owner accused of sedating children with allergy medication took the stand Thursday in her negligent homicide trial and denied using the medicine without the authorization of parents.

    Bieber characterized 1-year-old Dane as a "cute, little chubby baby," who seemed very healthy.

    Dane's mother, Calista, sitting quietly in the gallery with her husband Travis suddenly rushed out of the courtroom, barely holding back sobs.

    Bieber claimed she had casual oral agreements with parents, allowing her to administer over-the-counter medications to their children when cold symptoms arose.

    But Bieber purchased more than 63 bottles of Diphedryl, a generic form of Benadryl, in the 23 months leading up to Dane's death, according to Costco records subpoenaed by investigators.

    Drinking the liquid medication, Bieber testified, was a family practice, not a professional one.

    "I thought it was safe," she said, admitting that she used to take Diphedryl four or more times a week for a stuffy nose. "I used it on myself. So, if it was okay for me, I thought it would be okay for my kids."

    Her husband, Gordon Bieber testified earlier Thursday that he was the major household consumer of the medication, taking it three or four times a day, seven days a week for allergy and cold symptoms.

    "I'd just drink it out of the bottle," he said.

    Tears rolled down his face when he described being "haunted" by the fact that his wife's purchases on his behalf were used to support homicide charges against her.
    http://www.courttv.com/trials/bieber/082505_ctv.html
     
  16. luvbeaches

    luvbeaches New Member

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    This is such a sad, sad thing. I've watched a little bit of this on tv and I just don't buy what the other sitter has to say. Like others have said, she had to have known. Kids just don't sleep that much!!

    Also, I don't care what the husband says (about him using the product)...the fact that they found evidence of this drug in other diapers indicates that she was giving this to other children. For starters, if I was a parent, and even if I'd given her permission to administer the drug, I'd want to know if she did. What if you were at home and you felt the child needed some type of medication. You really need to know what they'd had earlier in the day so you could determine what to give your child, and when. So this is just baloney in my mind. The husband is just trying to save her @##.

    I think the Costco information is going to sink her boat.
     
  17. mysteriew

    mysteriew A diamond in process

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    According to the article, the child care was being done in a house next door to their home. So why would hubby's medicine even be there? Why would he bring his meds into a home where there were a bunch of little kids running around, getting into things? I mean that is one of the main rules of parenthood. You have to keep things like meds out of the kids reach, even out of climbing reach.
    He supposedly picked up meds in his home and took them into a daycare facility. Will he also testify that he is the one who gave the kids the liquid?

    I thought this quote was esp. telling-

     
  18. gangsta

    gangsta Former Member

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    mysteriew thanks for all the updates..it gets sicker and sicker as more is said.
     
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  19. mysteriew

    mysteriew A diamond in process

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  20. Boilly

    Boilly New Member

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    Here is an interesting article out of Florida concerning this very type of incident.
    http://search.theledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20030823/NEWS/308230340&SearchID=73218466517847

    "In an article published earlier this year in the Journal of Forensic Science, the cases of five otherwise healthy infants who died from overdoses of diphenhydramine, one of the ingredients in Benadryl, were detailed. Medical experts have known the drug is dangerous in infants at least since the 1950s.

    "The old medical literature will tell you this is a dangerous practice," said Andrew Baker, the assistant chief medical examiner in Minneapolis who led the research project."
     
  21. mysteriew

    mysteriew A diamond in process

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    That really burns me. They have known it was dangerous for some kids, but they keep selling it over the counter.
    I was always afraid of giving my kids (including OTC cold meds and allergy meds) without a doctor's guidance. But many do because they are supposed to be 'safe'.
     

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