Mother charged with causing son's suicide
Last Updated: 255 days ago
MUNCIE, Ind. - A Muncie mother has been charged with driving her 16-year-old son to commit suicide.
Sabrina Ann Howard, 40, was arrested Monday on preliminary charges of causing suicide and neglect of a dependent, both Class B felonies.
Her son died July 11, a day after he took his mother's prescription medications, including 30 Xanax pills and 26 tablets of a painkiller, police said.
Family members told police that the boy was upset over having to repeatedly confront his mother about her drug addiction, and that he had told her he was worried he'd come home and find her dead from an overdose.
Police called Howard a chronic drug user who abused both prescription drugs and street IV morphine. She had fresh track marks on her wrist during the interview with investigators, police said.
The morning the boy took the medications, Howard confronted him about it, telling him the pills could kill him, but she did not see medical attention for her son until more than eight hours later, when she found him unresponsive, police said.
The boy had threatened to commit suicide in January, but Howard refused to admit her son to a treatment center, according to the probable cause affidavit.
"He had threatened suicide before and she had taken him out to our local Ball Hospital," said Sgt. Linda Cook with Muncie police. "They were going to admit him to the Anderson Center, and mom ended up just leaving the hospital with him against medical advice."
Howard was being held without bond at the Delaware County Jail.
The charge of causing suicide is rarely used in Indiana.
"Causing a suicide (is) where you put the person under such duress that they end up committing suicide," Cook said. "This is the first time I've ever charged anyone with causing a suicide. I've definitely investigated a lot of neglect cases."
Howard is set to appear in court this month on misdemeanors charges of battery and disorderly conduct in an unrelated case.
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