LAFAYETTE - Kayla Barnett, 23, was sentenced on Tuesday to five years probation after her 4-year-old son drowned at a Thornton pool on June 9.
Barnett pleaded guilty in October to negligent child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury. Barnett, who is from Lafayette, was initially charged with negligent child abuse resulting in death.
Barnett's son Izaiah Lopez drowned in a swimming pool. The boy could not swim and was found face down in a lap pool without a life vest on.
Deputy District Attorney Christa Landis said that Barnett was responsible for her son's safety but left him in the pool while she went outside the pool area to smoke, a location where she could not see her son.
Landis said she believed the stipulated sentence to probation was an appropriate one. "Ultimately her worst punishment, I do not doubt, is the loss of her son," Landis said.
District Attorney Dave Young said this was a sad case involving the needless, tragic death of a child. Young said he hoped the case would help bring home the message that parents should never leave a child unattended in a swimming pool or bathtub.
"It only takes a few seconds for a child left alone in a pool or tub to drown," he said.
(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)