South Carolina v. Phillips

Donna Phillips was convicted of homicide by child abuse and sentenced to twenty-five years' imprisonment in the death of her 21-month-old grandson (Child). Phillips was alleged to have given the Child Tussionex, a prescription medication used to treat coughs and respiratory symptoms. Child was transported to the hospital after having been found in his bedroom, cold, not breathing and with no pulse. It was determined he was in opiate-induced cardiac arrest. After resuscitation, Child was taken by helicopter to a second hospital. Ultimately Child was pronounced brain dead and removed from life support; the cause of his death was documented as a hydrocodone overdose. Phillips held the prescription for Tussionex. The court of appeals affirmed Phillips conviction. Phillips argued on appeal that the court of appeals erred in affirming the denial of her motion for directed verdict because it considered the testimony offered by a co-defendant as well as Phillips' own testimony in its analysis. Although the South Carolina Supreme Court agreed the court of appeals erred in disregarding "South Carolina v. Hepburn," (753 S.E.2d 402 (2013)), the Court ultimately found the denial of Phillips' directed verdict motion was proper and affirmed as modified. View "South Carolina v. Phillips" on Justia Law