MORGANTON, N.C. -- A Burke County mother accused of letting her three-year-old son freeze to death entered a guilty plea in court Monday to involuntary manslaughter.
Burke County deputies charged Jamie Basinger with felony child abuse and involuntary manslaughter after her three-year-old son, Landyn Melton, was found frozen to death on the front porch of Basinger's ex-boyfriend back in March.
In court Monday the State dropped the felony child abuse charge. Basinger will serve 19-32 months in prison.
In court the State said Basinger’s son turned three the night before his death. The investigation showed the temperature outside in March was 21 degrees. The State said there is evidence that the 3-year-old was trying to get back inside of home when he froze to death. Basinger admitted to sleeping harder than usual and didn’t hear son.
Search warrants revealed Basinger admitted to using marijuana and meth in the days leading up to her son's death, but her family insisted Landyn's death was a tragic accident.
The defense said Basinger has an addiction problem and that she broke down when she saw her son’s body on the porch. Basinger cried in court Monday when the State described how her son froze to death.
The defense says Basinger has mercy and compassion for her son's death. She did not make a statement after entering the guilty plea.
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