A Michigan woman who caused the death of her newborn son in a Watertown hotel room and then placed the body in a trash can was sentenced as expected Monday in Jefferson County Court to a year in jail at the Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Building for the crime.
Andrea M. Kline, 22, Flint, Mich., also will have to undergo five years' probation supervision upon her release from jail for June 2 guilty pleas to criminally negligent homicide, tampering with physical evidence and endangering the welfare of a child.
She had been accused of causing the child's death Feb. 5, 2007, in a room at the Best Western Carriage House Inn, 300 Washington St. The child died of blunt force trauma that caused a skull fracture and bleeding on the brain. The body was then disposed of in an adjoining room.
Miss Kline, who recently received a finance degree from Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, was in Watertown to visit the child's father, Kevin A. Padilla, a soldier stationed at Fort Drum. Mr. Padilla was in the shower during the birth and subsequent events.
She was initially charged by Watertown police with second-degree murder, but a grand jury returned the reduced charge of criminally negligent homicide, indicating the jury's belief that the child's death was due to Miss Kline's negligence, not an intentional act.
Prior to sentencing, District Attorney Cindy F. Intschert noted the original murder charge and said she "always maintained that this was a state prison-worthy case." However, because Miss Kline was not charged with nor convicted of a violent felony, she asked for the one-year jail sentence and probation.
Miss Kline's attorney, James R. McGraw, Syracuse, said she comes from "a fine family" and "never had any problems in her life" prior to her baby's death. He called the incident an "aberration" that she will have to live with for the rest of her life.
When asked by Judge Kim H. Martusewicz whether she had anything to say before sentence was pronounced, Miss Kline said, "No, thank you."
She reported to the PSB on Monday morning.