Saturday, July 17, 2004

Mom whose teen killed tot to stay in jail 5 more months

By David Eck
Enquirer contributor

HAMILTON - A Hamilton mother whose teenage son killed her 13-month-old boy while baby-sitting last year will spend five months in the Butler County Jail, a judge ruled Friday.

The woman, who pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, has already served about a year in jail.

At her sentencing Friday, Butler County Common Pleas Judge H.J. Bressler also placed the woman on five years' probation. She must attend parenting classes and find full-time employment.

The woman said she now realizes the effect her "bad judgment" had on her family.

"I will do whatever the court asks of me to be with my children again," the woman said.

Her son, now 14, was convicted in June of child endangerment and murder in the June 2003 death of his younger brother. Prosecutors have said the teen admitted to hitting the boy with a metal bar and choking him after the toddler wouldn't stop crying.

The woman left her younger children -- then ages 10 years, 3 years, 2 years, and 13 months - in the care of her oldest son even though she knew he had a history of mistreating them. Her children are currently living her mother.

The woman, handcuffed and shackled, held several small religious books as she waited to be sentenced Friday.

"There is no question that this whole situation was a tragedy for everyone," the judge said. "As a result of your lack of responsibility, you have lost two children. You failed in your responsibility to take care of your children."

The woman is relieved that the case is over, her attorney, David Brewer, said Friday.

"She understands she made an error in judgment," Brewer said. "What happened to her is the worst possible thing that could happen to any parent."


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