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Spotsylvania woman charged with murder after 4-year-old son ate 'large amount' of THC gummies

A doctor told investigators that if medical intervention had happened faster, the death could have been prevented.

SPOTSYLVANIA, Va. — After a 4-year-old died months ago, suffering a medical emergency in his Spotsylvania home, detectives announced the mother is now facing charges.

Dorothy Clements told WUSA9 on the phone she thought she had bought harmless CBD gummies from a Fredericksburg store. Clements said had no idea the gummies she bought actually contained THC, the compound that can get you high.

She teared up when she remembered the moments she saw her 4-year-old son barely breathing after eating those gummies.

Officials determined the boy died after ingesting a high level of THC, according to doctors; the active ingredient in cannabis. Detectives believe the boy ate the gummies laced with the substance at the home in the 5400 block of Jamie Court in May.

Clements was taken into custody on Thursday. She is incarcerated at the Rappahannock Regional Jail under no bond. A grand jury indicted Clements with felony murder and child neglect this week. 

On Friday, Clements told a judge by video link from jail she "somewhat understood" the charges against her. Prosecutors were "strongly adamant" against any future release on bond. 

WUSA9 visited the Spotsylvania house Clements was staying at shortly after her child’s death in May. Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday it does not believe Clements’s story because it doesn’t match evidence it says was seized at that home.

In a conversation with WUSA9 before she was charged, Clements said her 4-year-old son was sitting right next to her when he began to show difficulty breathing. She realized somehow that he had eaten a gummy. She thought it was not going to cause harm and called poison control.  He later died at the hospital. 

The mom said the boy suffered from a “cardiac episode.” She reports that post-mortem, it was determined her son “had something odd with his heart.”

An obituary for Tanner Clements describes him as an "energetic, fun-loving little boy" who was a fan of superheroes.

A police affidavit obtained by WUSA9 says the 4-year-old showed a THC blood level that was, in one doctor’s words “extremely high.” 

Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Office said in a statement: 

"Detectives from the Child Victim Unit investigated the death and learned from doctors that the child toxicity level showed a high level of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol).  Detectives believe the child ingested a large amount of THC gummies. The attending doctor told Detectives that had medical intervention occurred shortly after the ingestion, it could have been prevented the death."

Search warrant documents obtained by WUSA9 show detectives seized Clement's cell phone to check against her account of calling poison control before Tanner's death.

What makes this death and arrest unique is that it is one of the first murder charges in the country alleging the involvement of THC gummies.

WATCH: 'That's like putting Clorox in a Capri Sun' | Candy-like labels for Delta-8 THC targeted by parents & doctors

Children get dangerously sick after eating unregulated THC gummies. 

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