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Spotsylvania mom charged with death of her 4-year-old son


A doctor told investigators that if the medical intervention had happened more quickly, the death could have been avoided.

SPOTSYLVANIA, Va. — After a 4-year-old child died months ago suffering from a medical emergency in his Spotsylvania home, detectives say the mother is now facing charges.

Dorothy Clements told WUSA9 over the phone that she thought she bought harmless CBD gummies from a store in Fredericksburg. Clements said she had no idea the gummies she bought actually contained THC, the compound that can get you high.

She cried when she recalled the times when she saw her 4-year-old son barely breathing after eating those gummies.

Authorities determined boy died after ingesting high level of THC, doctors say; the active ingredient in cannabis. Detectives believe the boy ate the gummies with the substance at home in the 5400 block of Jamie Court in May.

Clements was taken into custody on Thursday. She is being held at Rappahannock Regional Jail without bail. A grand jury indicted Clements with murder and child neglect this week

WUSA9 visited the Spotsylvania home where Clements was staying shortly after her child’s death in May. The Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday that it does not believe Clements’ story because it does not match evidence it says was seized from that home.

In a chat with WUSA9 before she was charged, Clements said her 4-year-old son was sitting right next to her when he started showing difficulty breathing. She somehow realized that he had eaten a candy. She figured it wouldn’t cause any harm and called the poison control center. He later died in hospital.

The mother said the boy was suffering from a “cardiac episode”. She reports that post-mortem, it was determined that her son “had something odd with his heart.”

A police affidavit obtained by WUSA9 says the 4-year-old showed blood levels of THC that were, in the words of one doctor, “extremely high”.

The Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement:

“Detectives from the Child Victims Unit investigated the death and learned from doctors that the child toxicity level showed a high level of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Detectives believe the child ingested a large amount of THC gummies. The attending physician told detectives that had medical intervention occurred shortly after ingestion, he could have been prevented from dying.”

What makes this death and arrest unique is that it is one of the first murder charges in the country alleging the involvement of THC gummies.

WATCH: ‘It’s like putting Clorox in a Capri Sun’ | Candy-Like Labels for Delta-8 THC Targeted by Parents and Doctors

Children are getting dangerously sick after eating unregulated THC gummies.

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RELATED: Virginia’s crackdown on copycat cannabis edibles is underway

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