OSHKOSH - An Omro woman who was convicted of causing the death of her baby boy will spend the next 10 years in prison.
Kayla Westenberger, 28, was sentenced Thursday in Winnebago County Court. Before sentencing, she gave an emotional statement as a mother about the death of her baby boy.
"He would have been a year and 7 months on the 1st of October. And all the time I think about what he would be doing in his life right now," Westenberger said at her sentencing.
Westenberger told the court that she failed her little boy, Ricky Jr., and her family.
Last October, she admits she was drunk and high on marijuana, when she drove her SUV into the water, at this boat landing.
Her eight-month-old son was strapped into the back car seat. Westenberger was able to get out, but her son did not.
"I am so sorry I couldn't be my best for Ricky. There's no amount of I'm sorries that I can say or feel to make any of this even a little better. I miss him so much," Westenberger continued.
"This deserves to be a harsh sentence," said Tracy Paider of the Winnebago County District Attorney's Office.
The prosecution asked for 15 years in prison, arguing the child had been lost in this case, because no one could speak for him.
"He deserved a chance to live and he didn't have that chance," Paider added.
After listening to arguments, the judge admitted he was struggling with how much prison time to give Westenberger.
"How do you put a number on the life of a child that's eight months old?" Winnebago County Judge Thomas Gritton said at the sentencing.
But in the end, he decided on 10 years in prison, and 10 years extended supervision.
"This is a tragedy that's a crime. And that's where the accountability comes in for you," Judge Gritton said.
Westenberger will also have 200 hours of community service.
"And I would hope that you would look at this as an opportunity to make yourself better, not as a life commitment," Judge Gritton added.
Westenberger admits she has an addiction.
The judge told her it needs to be corrected, so she can be a good mother to her other child.
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