REDWOOD CITY, Calif. — Under a plea deal in which her charge was downgraded from attempted murder to child endangerment, a California mother who allegedly tried to drown her newborn son in the toilet at her workplace has been sentenced to time served, probation and ordered to take parenting classes.
According to reports, Sarah Lockner, 27, pleaded no contest in January to felony child endangerment, and on Friday, San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Stephanie Garratt sentenced her to one year in prison, but credited her for the more than a year she has been incarcerated. She also mandated that Lockner have four years supervised probation and that she complete parenting classes.
According to The Mercury News, prosecutors had asked that Lockner be sentenced to four years in prison under the plea deal.
As previously reported, in September 2017, while working as a cashier at the Redwood City McDonald’s, Lockner experienced abdominal pain and excused herself several times to use the restroom.
A concerned co-worker soon went to check on Lockner, who noticed blood on the floor. Lockner claimed that she was only suffering from heavy menstruation.
Minutes later, another co-worker likewise went into the restroom and reportedly looked over the stall. She says that she saw a baby in the toilet face down with Lockner’s hand on the child’s back, and then heard the toilet flush.
Lockner told her not to call the police, the co-worker said, but authorities had already been contacted at that point.
Police arrived to find Lockner holding her son, who at the time had no pulse and was not breathing. Officers performed CPR and were able to revive the child.
He was rushed to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto where he was put into a medically induced coma, and thankfully survived the incident.
The boy is now living with his father’s aunt, and according to District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe, suffered “no long-term harm of any sort.” Lockner has another child, who is five. It is not known whether the first-born will remain in her custody.
Public reaction to the sentence, in that Lockner is not facing any additional jail time for allegedly attempting to drown her son, has largely been negative.
“Just another example of the totally sexist and unfair attitudes of the U.S. justice system. If a woman tries to drown her own baby, she gets off for time served while awaiting trial. If a man had done the same or anything close to it, he would be locked up for 10 or more years,” one commenter wrote.
“Fourth trimester abortion,” another remarked.
“There’s no excuse that can be given to justify this heartless, vile, woman’s actions, nor can there be any excuse for this so-called judge who handed down no prison time for an attempted murder, or even the lesser charge of child endangerment or abuse,” a third lamented. “It’s a violent crime inflicted on the most precious, the most innocent, the most fragile of victims. A newborn infant who can’t fight back their attacker, who’s sadly their own mother.”
2 Timothy 3:1-3 states, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God …”
Titus 3:3-6 also reminds Christians, “For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior …”