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Boise woman charged with harming her children with medication

Deputies began investigating after the suspect's preteen daughter lapsed into unconsciousness at school, and could not be woken up.
Credit: Ada Co. Jail

BOISE, Idaho — A Boise woman is facing felony charges after investigators say she sickened her preteen children with medication.

Stacey L. Matthews, 47, was arrested May 29 on two counts of felony injury to a child. 

According to the Ada County Sheriff's Office, the investigation started in December 2018 when deputies were called out to a Kuna-area elementary student because Matthew's daughter had lost consciousness. Teachers tried to wake the girl up, but were unable to do so.

The child was taken by ambulance to a local hospital for treatment. Detectives learned that the girl would regularly pass out at school, remaining unresponsive for up to 15 minutes at a time.

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According to the sheriff's office, Matthews had told teachers not to call 911 during these episodes unless the girl was turning blue.

As the investigation continued, detectives uncovered that the girl and her brother were each taking 11 different medications. The drugs, which included psychotropic medications, were dangerous when combined, and were likely causing seizures in the children, according to the Ada County Sheriff's Office. 

In addition, investigators say, the 11-year-old and 12-year-old had been made responsible for taking the medications on their own, and were not taking the correct amounts.

Both children were declared to be in immediate danger and removed from Matthews' home. While in the care of Idaho Health and Welfare, the children were weaned off the medications they had been taking, resulting in their health improving significantly.

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Officials say Matthews turned herself in to the Ada County Jail after a warrant was issued in the case. She was later released on her own recognizance.

The case is a felony because the suspect gave her son and daughter improper medications "under circumstances likely to produce great bodily harm or death," according to the charging document.

If convicted, Matthews could face up to a decade in prison for each count.

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