Mother accused of IV tampering in trouble again
Officials want bond revoked, say she violated court order
A woman accused of smearing feces on a catheter leading into her daughter’s bloodstream was found by a child welfare official last week with a child, a violation of her pretrial release, according to Travis County prosecutors.
State District Judge Julie Kocurek set a hearing for Friday on a prosecutor’s motion to revoke Emily Beth McDonald’s bond.
McDonald, 24, who could face up to life in prison on an injury to a child charge, has been free since her June 2009 arrest on a personal recognizance bond. As a condition of the bond, which was initially signed by another judge, Kocurek ordered McDonald not to have contact with any children.
At a May hearing, McDonald’s lawyers unsuccessfully requested that Kocurek allow her
Continued from B1 supervised visitation with her children, who at the time were 4, 5 and 7.
It was her youngest child that McDonald is accused of injuring in May 2009, at Dell Children’s Medical Center.
On July 20, according to a motion filed by prosecutor Jackie Wood, a Child Protective Services worker made an unannounced visit to McDonald’s parents’ home in Manor and found McDonald with a child of about 3 at her side.
Wood said in an interview that she did not know the identity of the child.
“The defendant placed her hand on the child’s head and stated, ‘Now that you are awake, I have to go upstairs,’ and left the room,” the motion stated.
Wood argued in the motion that McDonald’s actions and the nature of the accusations against her “indicate that she is a great danger to children.”
“The defendant’s flagrant disregard for the court’s order” also illustrates the danger, Wood wrote.
McDonald’s daughter was admitted to Dell Children’s on April 15, 2009, with a high fever and “a long history of chronic diarrhea,” according to an arrest affidavit. Blood tests came back positive for bacteria commonly found in feces.
Hospital officials eventually set up a hidden camera in the girl’s room after she continued to have setbacks in her recovery and after they had to replace her
Wood argued in the motion that McDonald’s actions and the nature of the accusations against her ‘indicate that she is a great danger to children.’
intravenous lines several times because of infections or clots, the affidavit said.
On May 31, hospital staff reviewed the footage and saw McDonald smearing feces on a cap to the girl’s central venous line, the affidavit said.
A central venous line is a catheter, often inserted into a patient’s chest or neck, that leads to a vein or directly into the heart. It allows the quick insertion of medication or fluids and allows monitoring of cardiovascular health.
McDonald told police that she had smeared feces on the line cap five times during her daughter’s six-week hospital stay, the affidavit said.
Phone messages left at McDonald’s parents’ home in Manor and with her lawyer, Bob Phillips, were not returned Monday.
In May, Phillips said McDonald’s two youngest children were living with her husband, who is their father, and the oldest child is living with her own father. Phillips called McDonald a “troubled young woman” who “needs treatment and counseling.”
In May, Emily McDonald and lawyer Bob Phillips unsuccessfully sought visitation rights. She also had been told to stay away from all children.