A mother from Elmira, New York has been sentenced to nine years behind bars for trying to get rid of her eight-month-old daughter by literally throwing her in the garbage last summer. The child, who was found in the trash, inside a plastic bag, outside a home 72 hours later, survived.
Harriette Hoyt pleaded guilty to attempted murder to get a lighter sentence, KRON 4 reports. If she didn’t take a plea deal, she could have faced up to 25 years in prison. She was 17 when she put her baby in the trash.
Hoyt signed an order of protection which prevents her from trying to contact her daughter for at least nine years. The girl, Sabrina, is reportedly doing well and is living with a foster family.
According to WNEP, Hoyt suffered from postpartum depression at the time of the incident.
Chemung County Judge Richard W. Rich Jr. said in court that he would have been fine giving Hoyt more time in jail.
“By a miracle, the child was found and survived. To put a child in a bag to die is about as bad a situation as I can think of," he said, according to the Star Gazette. "I can't think of anything worse. It's an outrageous act. If the people had offered 20 years, I don't think that would have been bad I can't think of a worse set of facts than what I'm presented with. You are awful lucky the child survived."
In her confession to police, Hoyt said she was visiting a friend when she abandoned Sabrina. She claimed it was in the aftermath of an argument with that friend.
"I was already stressed and depressed prior to this and this argument did not help me. I think I snapped and I didn't want to do anything physically to harm Sabrina because of my anger," Hoyt stated in her confession. "I decided that I needed some time away from Sabrina so I decided to walk away from her. Before I left, I decided that I wanted for Sabrina to be safe so I placed her in a garbage bag so she wouldn't get cold or rained on."
Defense attorney John Brennan said that his client is sorry.
"Harriette Hoyt is already sorry for the decisions she made. She accepts the consequences. She was suffering postpartum depression. She knows that isn't an excuse. She's looking forward to making the most of her time in prison so she can re-enter society and be law-abiding,” he said, according to the Star Gazette reports.
[Photo: Elmira Police Department]