A Maine woman is on trial for the murder of her 7-week-old baby.
Miranda Hopkins, 32, took the stand on Nov. 6 in her own defense at a court in Belfast, the Daily Mail reports.
She told the jury she was "blacked out on booze and marijuana," and implicated her autistic child in the death of baby Jaxson, which occurred in January.
Hopkins said she doesn't know how Jaxson died because she was too drunk on liquor and stoned on pot to know what was going on.
Jaxson's fatal injuries included skull fractures, 15 broken ribs, a broken right arm, and multiple cuts and bruises over his entire body.
Hopkins told police that she had checked on her other two sons before going to sleep next to Jaxson.
She said she woke up a few hours later with gall bladder pain, and found Jaxson "beat to hell."
She initially told police that one of her two autistic sons, aged 6 and 8, must have climbed into bed with her and either crushed Jaxson or beat him to death.
But she told jurors that was mostly a lie. "I'd been drinking, I'd passed out, and my baby was killed," she explained. "I was scared of what might happen."
The blackout was the result of several shots of whiskey and some marijuana, she added.
Amending her previous story, she said she passed out in the older boys' bedroom while putting them to bed, while Jaxson was left in his "bouncy chair" in the living room.
When she awoke a few hours later, she found Jaxson dead in her bed, and her eldest son asleep on the sofa, according to the revised version.
Her attorney argued that the boys would have been capable of beating Jaxson to death, alleging that the 6-year-old in particular has shown aggressive tendencies against other children in the past.
Prosecutors, however, pointed to Hopkins' changing alibis, and have cast doubt on her claim that she didn't hear Jaxson being "beat to hell."
However, alcohol blackout is increasingly understood as a "serious medical condition," notes Donal F. Sweeney, M.D., writing in Addiction Professional Magazine.
As Sweeney explains, an alcohol blackout prevents any memory from forming. So the victim does not forget what happened, but rather they never had any memory of it to begin with.
The example he gives is eerily relevant to the case of Hopkins and her situation: "One man drove 12 miles to his home, parked on the street and went to bed, unaware that the headless body of his best friend was in the vehicle beside him."