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Mom charged with murder after 4-year-old son dies from eating THC gummies: officials

The murder charges are among the first in the United States alleging THC gummies were involved.

Published: October 23, 2022 2:07pm

Updated: October 23, 2022 5:34pm

A grand jury indicted a Virginia mother on charges of felony murder and felony child neglect in the death of her 4-year-old son, who investigators believe ate a large number of THC gummies.

Dorothy Annette Clements, 30, is being held without bond after she was indicted last week, the Spotsylvania Sheriff's Office said.

Her 4-year-old son, Tanner, died on May 8, 2022, after suffering from a medical emergency at home two days prior. 

Detectives found a high level of THC, the chemical in cannabis that causes a person to get high, in the child's system, and they believe he "ingested a large amount of THC gummies," officials said.

"The attending doctor told Detectives that if medical intervention occurred shortly after ingestion, it could have prevented death," the sheriff's office said.

The murder charges are among the first in the United States alleging THC gummies were involved, local outlet WUSA 9 reported.

Before being charged, Clements said she thought she bought CBD gummies in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and did not know the gummies contained THC.

Clements told law enforcement that when her son accessed the jar, it only contained one gummy with CBD, the marijuana component that does not cause a high, according to the Associated Press. When police seized the jar, they found the gummies contained THC, not CBD, court documents show.

Virginia legalized recreational cannabis in July 2021.

The 4-year-old's death was initially ruled accidental due to delta-8 THC toxicity, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner Central District Administrator LaKeshia Johnson said.

Clements said her son had a "cardiac episode" and that he "had something odd with his heart."

The sheriff's office said Clements' statements "did not match evidence seized at the home."

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