Kelsey Osborne

Kelsey Osborne stands with other protesters Nov. 29 at the Twin Falls County Courthouse after her initial appearance on a misdemeanor charge of injury to a child for giving her daughter a smoothie with marijuana butter. Osborne wants to see Idaho allow medical marijuana.


TWIN FALLS — A Gooding mother who pleaded guilty to treating her sick 3-year-old daughter with marijuana-infused butter put forth an alternative story at her sentencing Tuesday: her boyfriend made the butter and administered it to the sick girl, then passed responsibility to the mother.

Kelsey Irene Osborne, 23, pleaded guilty earlier this month to a misdemeanor count of injury to a child. She was sentenced Tuesday to a year of probation and 100 hours of community service.

But during the sentencing, Osborne and her attorney argued she was “threatened into taking the rap” by her now ex-boyfriend, “who is a Marine veteran, PTSD sufferer (and) very unstable,” according to attorney Tom Curl.

“I have text messages, recordings — I have it all from the person who actually gave it to her, that made it (and) gave it to her,” Osborne said.

Shayne Nope, a deputy city prosecutor, called the argument “conjecture.”

“Quite frankly, for the person who said she was forced to take blame, she was holding up a sign in a news article saying ‘illegal doesn’t equal injury,’” Nope said. “(She) doesn’t look coerced or threatened.”

Osborne and her supporters, including Serra Frank, the founding director of Moms for Marijuana International, held a rally outside the Twin Falls County Courthouse in November after Osborne’s arraignment. The Gooding mother has insisted since the case began that she gave her daughter, Madyson, the marijuana-infused butter in a desperate attempt to help the girl, who was hallucinating and suffering seizure-like symptoms.

“On Oct. 5, when this happened … (Madyson) was extremely fearful and screaming for her mother to help her,” Curl explained in court Tuesday, saying Osborne called a doctor who scheduled an appointment for several hours later. “At about 11 a.m., Kelsey could no longer take her daughter yelling ‘save me, mommy.’ And it’s debatable who, but someone made marijuana butter (and) gave this to the child.”

For prosecutors, there is no debate about who gave the smoothie to Madyson.

“Ms. Osborne admitted to mixing a smoothie for her child — who does have medical needs — mixing a smoothie with THC butter,” Nope said in court Tuesday. “There were other things put forward after all this was said and done, as to maybe someone else gave the marijuana butter to the child, but she was the one who admitted to doing it first-hand, and quite frankly, there were others that were willing to come forward to say that this wasn’t at all the first time that she had given marijuana to her child.”

Nope said the rallies and the claims that this was a “potential medical-marijuana necessity-type claim … are much ado about nothing.”

“I don’t want to wade out into the political debate whether or not medicinal marijuana should be legalized in Idaho,” Nope said. “Other than to say that has absolutely nothing to do with what happened in this case.”

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Osborne denied Nope’s assertion that she’d given her daughter marijuana before Oct. 5, saying a hair follicle from the child “proved it had never happened more than that one time.”

Osborne is also facing a child-protection case in Jerome County where she is seeking to win back custody of her daughter. Madyson has been with her father since the Oct. 5 incident.

Judge Roy Holloway, filling in for Roger Harris, said he wished he would have had more time to review the case and “think about what would be appropriate” regarding Osborne’s sentence.

“Quite frankly, had I had more of a chance to think about this, I may well do something different than I’m prepared to do here today,” Holloway said.

But the judge went ahead with his order anyway, sentencing Osborne to a 180-day suspended jail sentence, one year supervised probation and 100 hours of community service. He also ordered Osborne to pay fines and court costs totaling more than $515.


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