Father found not guilty of manslaughter in death of diabetic son two years ago

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MACHIAS — The father tried earlier this month in Washington County Superior Court in connection with the death of his 12-year-old diabetic son was found not guilty of manslaughter on Monday.

In addition, Superior Court Justice Robert Murray found Edward Smith, 44, formerly of Lubec, guilty of one count of aggravated furnishing of a scheduled drug. The judge also found Smith not guilty of endangering the welfare of a child.

Murray said the state did not prove that Smith’s failure to seek medical treatment for his son was a gross deviation from the standard of care required by law.

The judge set Jan. 7 as the date for sentencing on the Class C drug charge.

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Murray presided over Smith’s jury-waived trial Dec. 8 through 11, then took the case under advisement.

Smith testified the last day of the trial that he “would have dragged him to the hospital whether he liked it or if not” if he’d understood the child was suffering from anything more than a stomach flu. The father maintained that he made a mistake in not seeking medical care for Aloric Smith, who died at home on April 4, 2012, but believed that his actions were not criminal.

Smith said that the boy had vomited and had suffered the symptoms of a “stomach bug” before and recovered.

Smith said that his son vomited the morning of Monday, April 2, 2012, and stayed home from school. The father testified that he called the doctor’s office to make an appointment but canceled it the next day because the boy seemed better and was keeping food down. Smith also testified that he was checking the boy’s glucose levels and they seemed within the normal range.

Those readings were not recovered from the boy’s glucose meter, according to previous testimony. Just one reading of 363 — considered to be high — taken Tuesday night, April 3, 2012, — was found. Smith said he gave the boy insulin after that reading.

Smith maintained that the meter was defective. Testimony earlier in the week from an engineer who works for the California firm that makes the meter and a physician’s assistant at the Diabetes, Endocrine and Nutrition Center at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, where Aloric Smith was a patient, disputed that claim.

At issue in the case was whether Smith was reckless or criminally negligent in failing to seek treatment for his diabetic son.

Smith has been held since his arrest in October 2013 in Rogersville, Missouri, at the Washington County Jail, unable to post $5,000 cash or a $50,000 surety bail.

If convicted of manslaughter, Smith faced up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000. He faces up to five years in prison and a fine of $5,000 on the drug charge. He faced up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $2,000 on the endangering charge.

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