A North Carolina mother who left her 3-year-old son to freeze to death on their front porch earlier this year was sentenced on Monday.
WSOC reported that Jamie Basinger, 24, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in connection with the March 15 death of her son, Landyn Melton. In turn, child abuse charges the Burke County woman was facing were dropped.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Melton wandered out of his house after celebrating his third birthday. Basinger and her boyfriend were purportedly sleeping when the door slammed behind the toddler, trapping him outside. A passerby found Melton’s body on the front porch the next morning.
ORIGINAL Story: Toddler freezes to death on his own front porch
Temperatures on the morning in question reached 20 degrees but felt much colder when accounting for a wind chill.
According to the station, Basinger told deputies that she last saw her son at 10:30 p.m. March 14 when she put her son to bed.
Reports indicated that the mother admitted to using meth and marijuana two days before her son’s death. A warrant obtained by WSOC revealed that she tested positive for several illegal substances.
Prosecutors said that fingerprints found on the front door indicated that the toddler attempted to get back in the home before succumbing to the cold.
“She didn’t hear him. She didn’t hear him leave the room. Didn’t hear him leave the house. Didn’t hear him banging on the door,” Assistant District Attorney Michelle Lippert said in court.
“She was asleep while he was freezing to death.”
Despite the facts of the case, Judge Nathaniel Poovey handed down a sentence of between 19 and 32 months in prison and three years’ probation. The News-Herald noted that Basinger was given credit for the 245 days she spent behind bars.
“I love my kid to death, and I would never do nothing to hurt him,” Basinger said through tears on Monday.
Given time served, WSOC said the 24-year-old could serve little to no additional jail time in connection with her son’s death. She stands to have an additional 19 months tacked onto her three years’ probation if she’s found to be in violation.
“If Landyn was here, he would be happy right about now,” Jamie’s mother, Brenda Basinger, said.
“Happy that mommy gets to come home.”
[Featured Image: Jamie Basinger and Landyn Melton/Facebook/WBTV]