A husband and wife had a 13-year-old daughter. She was an only child. They absolutely adored her. She was going through a time in her life when she had braces on her teeth. On one occasion, after she got home from the orthodontist, she complained to her mother that the braces were causing her a great deal of pain. This pain continued into the evening hours. Because regular painkillers did not work, the mother decided to give her one of her prescription pain medications. After taking one, the girl asked to sleep with her parents. Unknown to them, because the pain persisted, she got up and took more of the prescription pills. The combination caused her death. When the parents awoke in the morning, they immediately called 911 and pleaded for help. They were devastated. Their only child was gone.
The investigating detective took a statement from the mother and, knowing the law, sent the case to the state attorney’s office for the crime of felony murder. That is when someone dies during the commission of certain felonies. Distribution of (controlled) drugs is one of those felonies. She was facing decades in prison. After the autopsy was finished, it was learned that the single pill that the mother had given her daughter would not have caused death. That, along with an extensive positive background presentation of the parents, led the prosecutor to conclude that pursuing felony murder charges was not warranted.