Judge decides Benton City mother will not go to jail
A Benton City mother who admitted her negligence caused the death of her one-year-old daughter last year will not spend any time in jail.
This morning, a judge sentenced Wendi Finkbeiner-Setzer to 12 months in community custody.
Finkbeiner-Setzer pleaded guilty to second degree manslaughter on May 9th.
She stated that on November 5th, 2012, she left her daughter in the bathtub unsupervised for a few minutes.
When her teenage son went in the bathroom to check on his sister, he found her face down in the water and not breathing.
"This case is not one that she deserved any kind of jail sentence. That's what I felt from day one. And it's a tragedy. Any of us who have lost children understand the loss that happens, and it's a pain that never goes away" said Larry Stephenson, Finkbeiner-Setzer's attorney.
The standard range sentence for second degree manslaughter is 21 - 27 months.
Prosecutors recommended a sentence of 12 months.
Many friends and family members of Finkbeiner-Setzer who packed the courtroom for the hearing started crying in relief when the judge announced his decision.
After the sentencing, we asked Finkbeiner-Setzer if she wanted to comment - she said "just tell my community I'm sorry".