A Texas mother whose two young children died in a hot car while she partied inside a shed was sentenced to 40 years in prison on Wednesday.
Police say on 7 June 2017, Amanda Hawkins, then 19, drove her one and two-year-old daughters to the hospital. The girls were in dire condition and their mother claimed they had collapsed after smelling flowers at a nearby lake, Kerr County Sheriff Rusty Hierholzer told The Washington Post last year.
But police quickly determined flowers were not the culprit. Instead, the girls’ mother intentionally left them in her car overnight while she partied with friends, according to Hill Country Breaking News.
The children – Brynn Hawkins, one, and Addyson Overgard-Eddy, two – were trapped in the car for 15 to 18 hours as temperatures in Hill Country reached close to 90F (32C). That evening, someone heard the girls crying in the car and asked Hawkins to bring them inside. “She said: ‘No, it’s fine. They’ll cry themselves to sleep,’” Mr Hierholzer said.
Prosecutors said Hawkins woke up around noon the next day and had sex before going out and finding the girls, Hill Country Breaking News reported.
“She knew those kids were back there. She left them in that car,” Mr Hierholzer said.
Hawkins pleaded guilty in September to two felony counts of abandoning or endangering a child causing imminent danger or death, bodily injury or physical or mental impairment, and two counts of injury to a child, according to People. In a statement, police said Hawkins was initially reluctant to drive the children to the hospital because “she did not want to get in trouble.”