Louisiana Parole Board Recommends Release Of Mother Serving Life Sentence For Feeding Baby Cow’s Milk
A mother convicted of a past crime could be getting a second chance at freedom.
Tiffany Woods was recommended for release from a Louisiana prison after being convicted of the second-degree murder of her baby in 2005, People reported. After serving 17 years in prison, Woods pleaded to be released and the Louisiana pardon board unanimously agreed.
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Woods was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison for causing her baby Emmanuel’s malnutrition death by feeding the child cow’s milk instead of baby formula, after fleeing Hurricane Katrina. The baby was born prematurely in June 2005, weighing a little over three pounds, and diagnosed with a genetic disorder, just a few months prior to the hurricane making a devastating landfall on the Gulf Coast with historic damage to New Orleans. But before the hurricane landed, Woods and her family decided to evacuate the city and headed to Shreveport, where the baby’s formula issues began.
She told the parole board that the baby was having trouble consuming the formula. Woods claimed she wasn’t made aware of the extent of her baby’s condition before being discharged from the hospital. While living in a shelter, Woods fed Emmanuel formula purchased with government vouchers, according to News Nation Now. When she ran out of vouchers, Woods and her partner began to feed the baby organic cow’s milk.
“The formula he was taking, he wasn’t swallowing. He was always throwing it up, and then we ran out of WIC vouchers, so I decided to switch it,” Woods said.
“I switched it to organic milk. I thought he was doing better, but he wasn’t thriving.”
Weeks later, the baby died.
Prosecutors didn’t believe Woods ran out of vouchers, telling the jury there was food and beer in the fridge. They also showed pictures of Emmanuel’s sickly body and argued Woods was negligent of not taking the baby to a doctor before he died.
According to the CDC, cow’s milk isn’t recommended for infants under a year old as it doesn’t contain the right mix of nutrients for them and can be hard on a baby’s system.
While Woods’ release recommendation was approved, Gov. John Bel Edwards has the final say on whether she will be released.