By Monica Land
PASCAGOULA – A Jackson County judge said a woman who repeatedly dunked her 3-year-old son in a bathtub filled with hot water will spend the next 18 years behind bars. Sylvia Smith was sentenced to 25 years in jail – 18 to serve – by Circuit Court Judge Robert Krebs for the crime committed against her son in August 2008.
Smith, now 35, was indicted by a grand jury that same month and pleaded guilty to the charges in February 2012.
Through her attorneys, however, Smith later recanted that plea in a motion saying that she didn’t understand what she was doing. A judge denied her motion.
Smith was transferred to the Washington County Correctional Facility on May 5.
Moss Point authorities said on Aug. 18, 2008, Smith took her then 3-year-old son and repeatedly submerged him in a tub of hot water.
Medical reports said the child sustained severe burns to his legs and arm, where he was “kicking in and out of the hot water” as he was submerged.
Now 6-years-old and living with his adopted family, the boy is permanently confined to a wheelchair, Gulflive reported.
“This…child suffered horrendous injuries at the hands of his own mother,” District Attorney Tony Lawrence said in a statement. “He will carry the scars of this abuse for the rest of his life. I commend the Pascagoula Police Department for their investigation on this case. Because of their work and dedication, we were able to hold Ms. Smith accountable for her horrible actions.”