Crime

Case against mom accused in daughter’s diabetes-related death heading to trial

Timeline of events leading up to Alton teen’s death, her mother’s arrest

Emily Hampshire, 14, died Nov. 3, 2018. Her mother, Amber Hampshire, 39, was charged with involuntary manslaughter Dec. 27, 2018. Police accuse her of hiding Emily's diabetes diagnosis and failing to treat it, which led to her death.
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Emily Hampshire, 14, died Nov. 3, 2018. Her mother, Amber Hampshire, 39, was charged with involuntary manslaughter Dec. 27, 2018. Police accuse her of hiding Emily's diabetes diagnosis and failing to treat it, which led to her death.

A crowd filled the small courtroom Thursday as a mother formally pleaded not guilty in her 14-year-old daughter’s death after a grand jury had indicted her last week.

The next step is a trial for Amber Hampshire, 39, of Alton, who is accused of knowing her daughter Emily had diabetes and not taking her to doctor appointments or filling her insulin prescription. A trial date of Feb. 19 was set for the case, which will be heard by Circuit Judge Kyle Napp.

Emily died of a complication of diabetes in November when she didn’t have enough insulin in her body, according to police documents.

Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons has said the case doesn’t involve poverty or addiction. He said “there’s nothing to explain this.”

Amber Hampshire is accused of hiding Emily’s diagnosis from family, including Emily’s father Zachary, from Emily’s school and from doctors at the hospital where Emily died. She faces two felony charges: involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment.

The Alton Police Department denied the Belleville News-Democrat’s request for investigative documents last week, citing the ongoing case. Officers there began investigating the family after a hospital social worker noted that medical neglect may have played a role in Emily’s death.

Many supporters hugged Amber and Zachary Hampshire, who were both there for her court appearance Thursday. The group arrived early, and left the room nearly empty after she entered the plea.

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Lexi Cortes covers the issues and events in education that matter to metro-east students, parents and taxpayers. She won a first-place award from the Illinois Press Association in 2018 for her work on a series of stories about proposals to increase sales tax rates, focusing on how those increases could affect schools and residents.


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