TAUNTON -- Karen E. Robidoux collapsed into tears yesterday when the image of her infant son Samuel, whom she and her husband allegedly let starve to death on the instructions of God, flashed across a television monitor in the courtroom where she is on trial for second-degree murder.
Robidoux's emotional breakdown took place in front of the Bristol County Superior Court jury hearing the case, prompting her lawyer, Joseph Krowski, to accuse Bristol County prosecutors of mounting an immoral prosecution of a woman Krowski contends was trapped in a religious cult.
"It's not right. It's not justice. It's not moral," Krowski told reporters.
But Walter Shea -- a Bristol County assistant district attorney who obtained a first-degree murder conviction against Robidoux's husband, Jacques, in 2002 -- replied: "Look at what they did to their kid."
In 1999, Karen and Jacques Robidoux were members of a religious sect in the Attleboro area called The Body when Jacques's sister, Michelle Mingo, had a "leading" from God that Karen Robidoux was too vain and should feed her son only from the breast, according to testimony and court records. Karen Robidoux was also told to drink only almond milk.
At the time, Karen Robidoux was pregnant and slowly stopped lactating. Samuel Robidoux died 51 days after the feeding regimen was ordered, three days short of his first birthday. His body was buried in Baxter State Park in Maine, near the remains of another child of sect members, who said that baby was stillborn.