Texas Mom Who Left Daughters In Hot Car While She Partied Sentenced To Prison

Photo: Courtesy of Getty.
A Texas woman whose two young children died after she forced them to languish in a hot car overnight was sentenced to 40 years in prison Wednesday.
Since June 7, 2017 — the night then 19-year-old Amanda Hawkins abandoned her one- and two-year-old daughters in a car for up to 15 hours as temperatures rose above 90 degrees while she partied in a shed with friends — the American public has been transfixed with the court case and ongoing legal proceedings.
Part of the intrigue lies in the cruel detachment prosecutors were able to demonstrate Hawkins repeatedly displaying towards her daughters, Brynn Hawkins, one, and Addyson Overgard-Eddy, two. In one instance, as one partygoer later disclosed to Kerr County Sheriff Rusty Hierholzer, the woman asked Hawkins to bring the girls inside the party after hearing their anguished cries outside, only for the young mother to respond, “No, it’s fine. They’ll cry themselves to sleep.”
The neglect is compounded by the callousness with which Hawkins regarded the apparent death of her children. According to Hill County Breaking News, on the morning after the party, “Amanda woke up at around noon and had sexual intercourse with a boy from the party, before going out to the car and finding the girls unconscious.”
Upon finding the girls, Hawkins reportedly spent two hours running cold water over their heads and Googling ways to revive people from heat exhaustion before bringing them in for treatment at Peterson Regional Medical Center because she “didn’t want to go to jail.” At the hospital, she tried to explain the girls’ sudden illness by lying to doctors, hypothesizing that maybe “they’d ingested or touched a poisonous flower” during a made-up trip to a nearby lake she said they’d taken that day.
In his given testimony, Dr. John Gebhart — the physician who stayed up for 40 hours straight attempting to save the girls’ lives — said that “none of the story made sense,” at the time, and added that the girls likely suffered painful, slow deaths before ultimately succumbing to brain swelling as a result of the sweltering temperatures in the car.
In September, Hawkins had pleaded guilty to two felony counts of abandoning or endangering a child causing imminent danger or death, bodily injury or physical or mental impairment, and two counts of injury to a child.
In a statement given before her sentencing, Hawkins said that she “will accept whatever the punishment may be,” and that “there are no excuses for what I did.”
“I do love them and care about them,” she added.
Citing testimony from doctors during the sentencing, Judge Keith Williams said that the time Hawkins had wasted before seeking medical help for the two girls had potentially been enough to save Addyson’s life, and possibly Brynn’s, according to the Hill County Breaking News.
While he acknowledged that Hawkins had taken responsibility for her daughters’ deaths before her sentencing, he also said that “those precious little girls would still be here today if this had not happened.”
“People in our community take better care of their pets than you took care of your kids,” he added.

More from US News

R29 Original Series