Mother charged in 2011 overdose death of son
Updated On: Nov 29 2012 06:43:59 PM EST
Ten months after 3-year-old Logan Gust was pronounced dead at Wolfson Children's Hospital, police charged his mother with manslaughter.
According to the medical examiner, the child died in May 2011 of an overdose of Clonidine, a drug prescribed to treat "oppositional defiant disorder."
The boy's mother, Angel Gust, was arrested in March and charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child by culpable negligence.
Gust, 31, is married to a sailor based at Mayport who was deployed when their son died.
Florida Department of Children and Families spokesman John Harrell says it's hard to tell if any harm was intended by the overdose, but it was deliberate.
"This was verified abuse. That mother did intentionally give extra doses of this prescription to the child," Harrell said. "We would urge all parents, never do this. Don’t give extra meds, even if the child is acting out. That’s putting the child at risk."
Pediatrician Hilleary Rockwell said the drug is traditionally used to treat high blood pressure, but it works against ODD.
"Essentially, it’s a child that is very resistant to authority and very strong willed, more than even the average strong-willed child," Rockwell said.
Channel 4 crime analyst Ken Jefferson said the woman was obviously under stress, and the child paid the price.
"I think there are a lot of dynamics in this case," Jefferson said. "Mom left with husband deployed to take care of children. A great responsibility."
Gust is scheduled to go on trial in February. The couple's two other children -- 3 and 12 years old -- were staying with relatives during the investigation.
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