Voluntary Manslaughter

February 10, 2012 by staff 

Voluntary Manslaughter, Loleta resident Maggie Jean Wortman, 27, accepted a plea offer and pleaded guilty Monday to a charge of voluntary manslaughter for killing her infant son with methamphetamine-laced breast milk.

Wortman was arrested after her 6-week-old son, Michael Phillip Acosta III, was found not breathing and taken to a local hospital on Nov. 21, 2010. The boy was pronounced dead that day, and a subsequent autopsy determined the cause of death to be “methamphetamine toxicity.”

Prosecutors, including Deputy District Attorney Ben McLaughlin, said Wortman smoked the drug and passed on a lethal dose to her son while breastfeeding him.

”There was every indication that Wortman knew she was placing Michael in grave danger by exposing him to methamphetamine, yet she continued to do so,” McLaughlin said in a statement.

Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Bruce Watson presided over the case as Wortman pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter, a parole violation and a misdemeanor child endangerment charge from 2009.

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