A New York mother whose toddler twin boys died in a fire while she was out buying alcohol and marijuana will spend only one year in jail for the deaths of her children, reports WHEC.
Heather Ace, 25, of Batavia, New York, pleaded guilty to one count of endangering the welfare of a child in February and received the maximum sentence for the charge.
On May 20, 2016, a fire broke out in the home where the two twin boys were left alone, according to Genesee County Sheriff’s deputies.
— Jeffrey Arnold 🚒📷 (@firephoto25) May 23, 2017
The twins, Michael and Micah Gard, were home alone for over an hour locked in her bedroom when the fire broke out. Both boys died from smoke inhalation. The cause of the fire is unknown.
Genesee County Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cinafrini says that investigators looking into the case found that Ace was out buying alcohol and marijuana while her two toddlers were left home alone for an hour and a half.
Cinafrini says that Ace’s mother left her multiple calls about the fire, but the woman ignored them.
According to Judge Michael Cleveland, this devastating case was the most tragic he had seen in his 10 years on the bench. The judge said that he gave the woman the maximum sentence he could because she didn’t bother to have someone watch her children while she left to get drugs and alcohol.
When she received her sentence, Ace held a photograph of her sons and made a statement to the court about seeing her one surviving son who was taken from her following the deaths of her twins, reports The Daily News.
“I fell back on God when this happened. There’s not one more thing I can do wrong to risk seeing my son. Whatever happens today is what God wants. I can only show you I’ve tried to get better. I just hope I can see my son. Thank you very much.”
[Feature photo: Family Handout]