Woman pleads guilty to neglect after removing feeding tube

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A Terre Haute woman has agreed to plead guilty to neglect in the dehydration death of her infant son after she removed his feeding tube.

Tabetha Smith, 39, would face a 16-year sentence if the plea entered Thursday is accepted. Vigo Superior Judge Sarah Mullican took the plea agreement under advisement.

The Tribune-Star reports Smith told police she removed her 3-month-old son’s feeding tube against doctors’ orders at least five days before her son died on March 12, 2018. She told police the child was born with Down syndrome, unattached intestine, heart defects and other medical issues. He was released from a hospital with a feeding tube, but Smith said she began bottle-feeding the baby due to “continued congestion” and thought he was “doing well” without the tube.

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