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Women Found Guilty In Pepper Death

March 13, 1987

CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) _ A woman has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of her 5-month-old son, who choked on pepper.

Elizabeth R. Jewell, 26, of Webster Groves, showed no reaction Thursday when St. Louis County Circuit Judge Kenneth M. Romines read the verdict. The jury recommended five years in prison. She faces up to seven years at sentencing April 14.

Her husband said Michael’s death was an accident.

″Beth’s a loving mother. If I didn’t believe that, I would never have left our children in her care,″ Edward Jewell said.

Prosecutor Steven Goldman argued that Mrs. Jewell had poured a ″tremendous amount″ of pepper down the child’s mouth to punish him for crying.

But Mrs. Jewell testified that she had put pepper on his fingers and tongue to keep him from sucking his thumb, believing his thumb-sucking would cause his teeth to grow crooked.

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