A tragic incident of neglect has left a 3-year-old boy dead after he was left on his porch to freeze death while his mother slept indoors following a heavy night of binging on drugs.
According to reports in the US, young Landyn Melton was left outside his house in Morganton, Carolina, leaving smudge marks on the windows as he desperately tried to get back into his house.
Meanwhile, Landyn’s mum, Jamie Basinger, was reportedly fast asleep inside after getting high on marijuana and meth. In the 48 hours leading up to his death, she admitted to smoking the drugs while her son tragically froze to death outside.
The Morganton Herald wrote that 24-year-old Basinger admitted to involuntary manslaughter on Monday after she accepted a plea deal on the day her trial was meant to start.
Basinger received a suspended sentence of 19 to 32 months, as well as three years of supervised probation, according to the local newspaper.
Neighbour’s discovered Landyn’s body on March 15 on the front porch of his house, he had left his bedroom and was locked outside of the property.
An autopsy showed the toddler had blood on his face, however there were no signs of trauma, it was reported.
Speaking to the court, North Carolina Assistant District Attorney Michelle Lippert claimed Basinger and her boyfriend Joshua Steffey admitted they started smoking meth for two days before her son died and marijuana the night before.
In a statement to the court, Lippert said:
She was supposed to be supervising this child – he had just turned three, he was outside.
By her own admission, she was sleeping harder than normal.
She didn’t hear him — didn’t hear him leave the room, didn’t hear him leave the house, didn’t hear him banging on the door – she was asleep while he was freezing to death.
Basinger’s lawyer, Frank Webster, said his client fessed up about her drug abuse as ‘she wanted answers’ regarding her son’s death.
Her mother, Brenda Basinger, said her daughter will ‘have to live with this the rest of her life… we all are’.
Jamie Basinger was charged in April, a month after son’s body was found outside of her house.
Webster told the court:
She didn’t understand this — it didn’t make sense to her…
When this happened, when she saw Landyn laying on the porch, she broke down in tears — falling on the ground. She’s really never stopped crying since, your honor.
The judge has issued special conditions for Jaime’s release including a substance abuse assessment within 30 days and recommended treatment within her first year.
Basinger must also complete 72 hours of community service and follow any court-ordered mandates regarding her other child.