Diane Fleming is not the only woman wrongly accused of poisoning a family member. In 1989 Patricia Stallings was charged with the murder of her baby boy. Authorities found traces of ethylene glycol (anti-freeze) in his baby bottle (and his system) and since Patricia was the last one to feed him, she was presumed to be guilty. She was immediately labeled a monster and “tried and convicted” by her community. Diane Fleming knows the feeling well.
Patricia’s story ends a whole lot different from Diane Fleming’s. Fortunately for Patricia she was pregnant with her 2nd child when she was arrested and when the baby was born it was immediately taken from her. Within weeks baby #2 came down with the exact symptoms that the older sibling had before he died and test results showed traces of “ethylene glycol” in this baby’s system too . Since “Mommy Monster” was behind bars she couldn’t possibly have harmed her child. This mystery added validity to the defense strategy that claimed that a rare metabolic disease called Methylmalonic Acidemia, (commonly referred to in the medical field as MMA) was the cause of death. This rare disorder created a “false positive” for anti-freeze poisoning and Patricia was victoriously vindicated. Diane Fleming has not been so fortunate.
Diane has been locked away in a women’s prison in rural Virginia since 2002. She lost her husband, her children, her home and both of her parents have passed away since her incarceration…no doubt with broken hearts. Her friends rally for her innocence still today. Diane’s trial lasted 2 days. She was found guilty and sentenced to 50 years. She will likely die in prison without a miracle. As for me, I still believe in miracles and I believe in Diane Fleming. Diane was thrown under the bus by a sloppy system and I’m fighting for justice!
Diane was convicted of poisoning her husband when an autopsy reported high levels of Methanol (wood alcohol) in his system. She received a call from the coroner directly (that’s strange) and was advised to call the authorities herself. Not only did she call them, she helped them root through her house for clues leading to the sudden death of her husband. The police were not in favor of filing charges against Diane claiming that there was not sufficient evidence to charge her but the DA and the coroner were on a witch hunt of their own.
These “experts” claimed that 5-6 ounces of windshield washer fluid was the weapon that Diane used to kill her husband. There were no expert witnesses called to dispute the fact that 5-6 ounces of windshield washer fluid would barely kill a lab rat much less a grown man.
There was no science presented that would show that Mr. Fleming’s prolonged habit of drinking 10-12 Aspartame-loaded diet Coke each day (along with 2-3 alcoholic drinks each night) would show high levels of Methanol in anybody’s system…dead or alive. Another “false positive”?
The coroner was not called to testify in this murder case. That’s a first.
Mr. Fleming’s family history of kidney disease was not discussed. The family physician that had treated Mr. Fleming for months prior to his death was not presented at trial. A list of his medications was not provided.
Hospital records from the time Mr. Fleming was admitted into intensive care and until his death 24-hours later were never presented at the trial. Then again, if you don’t have expert testimony of any kind, why bother?
Diane Fleming was so emotionally fragile leading up to the trial that her attorney requested tranquilizers to calm her. She was overly medicated and she sat through the entire trial like an emotionless zombie. The jury was not made aware of the fact that she was highly medicated and they judged her for her “cold” demeanor throughout the trial. Non-disclosure of this dirty-little-secret was reason enough for a mistrial. Jurors questioned after the conviction admitted that had they known that she was heavily medicated it would have made a big difference in their opinion of innocence versus guilt.
Diane was given 3 lie detector tests and passed all with flying colors. Although not admissible in court, this is a major accomplishment for a cold-blooded killer.
This average housewife, mother, Sunday school teacher and advocate for the poor was railroaded through a sloppy system that would make a good Lifetime movie and she’s paying the ultimate price with her life. Diane Fleming did NOT kill her husband. He killed himself with years of abuse of diet Cokes (Aspartame), daily alcohol and Creatine with Gatorade that he began taking the day before his hospitalization. A perfect storm.
Although the science is (now) readily available to PROVE that Aspartame is the reason for the high levels of Methanol in Mr. Fleming’s system (and to blame for his death), apparently it’s too late for evidence and all appeal options are gone. The only hope for Diane is a pardon which will rely totally on politics and which way the wind is blowing. As we hear of violent drug dealers being released each day to relieve over-crowded prisons, I wonder how a decent law-abiding citizen could be railroaded and left to rot.
How is it that DNA in other cases can be presented as evidence years and years after conviction and yet we can’t get the Governor’s office to give scientific evidence of Aspartame poisoning (not available at the time of Diane’s trial) a second glance? I want justice.
I wrote Diane’s story a year ago and I polled readers at that time on what they believe should be Diane’s fate. Seventy three (73%) percent voted to FREE DIANE FLEMING NOW!
This miscarriage of justice needs to be made right for Diane Fleming and for all of those to follow. With free-flowing Aspartame in countless products, you and I could in a prison cell next.