Mother Cleared Of Murder Charges Maintained Innocence
Prosecutor Drops Charges Citing Lack Of Evidence

May 27, 2008

CANTON, Miss. -- A Madison County mother cleared of murder charges in connection with the death of her 11-month-old son spoke out about her ordeal for the first time on Tuesday.

Last week Madison County officials dropped murder charges against Hattie Douglas in connection with the death of her son Kadarrius.

Douglas, 32, will not be prosecuted in the death of Kadarrius because of a lack of evidence, District Attorney Michael Guest said Friday.
Hattie Douglas and Kadarrius
Hattie and her son, Kadarrius
Initial test results showed that Douglas' son had an alcohol level of 0.4 percent when he died May 11, 2006. But an independent pathologist's report said tests came back with conflicting results, Guest said. The independent pathologist ruled the child died of pneumonia.

Douglas said Tuesday that she had always maintained her innocence.

"It made me feel bad at first because I knew I was innocent of these charges and I didn't do anything wrong," Douglas said. "I've never been away from my kids. Every time you saw me, you saw my kids and this really did take something away from me."

"The results are questionable, the tests are questionable and because of that the case could not pass the muster of reasonable doubt," said Douglas' attorney Latrice Westbrooks.

Westbrooks said that a doctor prescribed an iron supplement for Kadarrius, which contained a small percentage of alcohol.

"When you receive your prescriptions the doctor prescribes, you go and get them filled, which is what Hattie did in this case," Westbrooks said.

Douglas said that her five children were taken away from her when she went to jail. She said she's looking forward to reuniting with them.

"Being with my kids, that's all I'm looking forward to," Douglas said.

Douglas' attorney plans to petition the Madison County Youth Court so Douglas can get regain custody of her children.

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