updated 7/16/2008 2:56:20 PM ET 2008-07-16T18:56:20

A Tennessee woman has been charged with attempted homicide for trying to poison her 4-month-old son at a city hospital by injecting a saltwater solution into his feeding tube, police said.

Twenty-one-year-old Amber Brewington, who was taken into custody late Tuesday following the latest alleged poisoning attempt, told investigators she was trying to speed up the boy’s death to end his suffering, according to a police affidavit.

The boy, Noah King, remained in critical condition with sodium poisoning at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh on Wednesday.

Brewington told investigators that King was admitted to a hospital in Columbia, Tenn., in May and was later transferred to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, he suffered unexplained seizures and possible brain damage, police said.

While at the Nashville hospital, Brewington “gave her infant son four to five full syringes of high volume salt water in attempts to speed up his death,” police wrote in an affidavit. “Amber felt that she did not wish to see her son suffer.”

Boy's condition worsens after mother visits
King was transferred to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh on July 9. Upon arrival, he had one of the highest recorded levels of sodium, even for an adult, according to the affidavit.

The boy’s condition became worse after his mother visited him on Sunday and again on Tuesday night, leading to Brewington’s arrest, Pittsburgh Police Cmdr. Thomas Stangrecki said.

Brewington admitted giving him another syringe of salt water on Sunday, though she denied she was trying to do it again when she was caught by a nurse Tuesday, police said.

Brewington was found with a syringe and two bottles of a children’s drink that had been emptied and replaced with salt water, the affidavit said. Police believe Brewington was using the syringe to inject the solution into the child’s feeding tube.

Investigators believe the boy had also been poisoned in Tennessee, Stangrecki said.

“We believe last night was another attempt to deliver more salt water or sodium to her child,” Stangrecki said Wednesday.

Brewington, of Duck River, Tenn., was also charged with aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child. She was awaiting arraignment in Pittsburgh on Wednesday.

It was not immediately clear if she would have an attorney representing her at the hearing.

The boy’s father was questioned, but is not suspected of wrongdoing and faces no charges, Stangrecki said.

Stangrecki said he’s not sure if Brewington is married to the child’s father. Brewington has two children with him and a third child by another man, Stangrecki said.

It was unclear who currently has custody of Brewington’s other children.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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