A Harris County jury has convicted a Texas woman accused of subjecting her young son to at least two unnecessary surgeries. Laurie Williamson, 44, was convicted Thursday of injury to a child in connection with the surgeries for implantation of a nerve-stimulation device and insertion of a gastric feeding button. She now faces the possibility of a life sentence. The punishment phase of the trial started Thursday and will resume next Tuesday.
State child welfare officials and prosecutors said Williamson has Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a rare disorder in which a person fabricates or induces symptoms in others to gain attention. Prosecutor Mike Trent said Williamson manipulated doctors and her son's condition to get the surgeries. They added that over ten years, Williamson took her three children to at least 500 medical appointments.
Child Protective Services took custody of the children in March 2006. Defense attorney Allen Isbell denied that his client has the syndrome. He said doctors told Williamson that her son needed the procedures.