No Jail Time For Babysitter In Toddler Drowning Death

A babysitter got no jail time after pleading no contest in the drowning death of a toddler in 2010.

Amanda Stump made the plea this morning to involuntary manslaughter before an Onslow County superior court judge.

Authorities say Stump was babysitting Sadie Gates in September, 2010 when the 19 month old girl wandered out of her home and fell into a rain-swollen drainage ditch. She was swept away by storm water and found floating on the opposite side of Highway 53.

Investigators say Stump confessed to smoking marijuana and taking a prescription anti-depressant before the child was dropped off at her home.

During the sentencing, the toddler's father called Stump a coward for pleading no contest.

Stump later told the court she was sorry, telling the child's parents she can't bring Sadie back, and spends everyday thinking about what happened.

The judge gave the woman a suspended sentence, ordering her to undergo drug tests for the next three years. The judge says if she fails those tests then she will face jail time.


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  • by Grammy Location: Minnesota on Jan 13, 2012 at 12:47 PM
    I am saddened by the outcome concerning the person that allowed my beloved granddaughter to wander and die a horrible death. The courts are way too lenient. My heart is heavy for my son and daughter in law. Amanda cannot hide from God.
  • by NHS Kid on Jan 13, 2012 at 10:06 AM
    Wow. I feel that since she admitted to doing drugs before watching the child she should face jail time.
  • by Praying on Jan 13, 2012 at 09:17 AM
    My prayer's and heart goes out to lil Sadies family. There's no words that can take the lost and pain away but I pray that you turn to the lord for strength and guidance. I don't agree with the ruling of 3 yrs probation but there is something she does have to deal with, knowing her stupidity caused the death of child and one day she has to answer to the one above for what she done.
  • by Formerly O.L.I. Location: ENC on Jan 13, 2012 at 07:07 AM
    I posted this before, but she was known to allow children to play near that 4ft. deep drainage ditch, according to a neighbor's quote from another news site. She has four children of her own, plus would take on others to babysit. That child was trusted into her care, but oh well. Guess probation is considered punishment enough.
  • by laura Location: greenville on Jan 12, 2012 at 05:54 PM
    Pot makes you sleepy, and she was sleeping, so I can't see how folks can say that the weed wasn't a contributing factor. It's a depressant, not a stimulant, you're not more alert or focused when you smoke weed, which is what you need to be if you're taking care of a toddler. Please be intellectually honest enough to admit that much, no matter what your views on its legalization.
    • reply
      by c-had on Jan 13, 2012 at 06:38 AM in reply to laura
      The statement "pot makes you sleepy" is simply not true.Some pot makes you sleepy would be more accurate. Indica,s: generally make you sleepy(stoned) Sativah's:Typically have the opposite effect. As far as Cannabis not making you alert or focused you are incorrect once again.I have severe ADHD and MJ actually helps me focus and pay more attention.The only thing you said true is that children require all of your attention.Please research more and type less.She was negligent,simple as that.You cant blame the pot or the pills,blame the person.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Jan 13, 2012 at 08:21 AM in reply to c-had
        Actually you're both right and you're both wrong. The specific active ingredients THC and Cannibol have opposite effects. THC makes you notice innappropriate stimuli more (paranoia) and Cannibol makes you more alert to appropriate stimuli. Depending on the exact chemical mix and the specific person's reactions, both effects you two mentioned are possible. A little research does go a long way.
        • reply
          by c-had on Jan 13, 2012 at 10:23 AM in reply to
          I was speaking of pure Sativah's and Indica's.Sativahs generally have much lower amounts of cann's and indica's more.GENERALLY... That being said individuals will naturally react differently as you stated.
  • by Dan on Jan 12, 2012 at 01:19 PM
    This is no difference than getting drunk and letting the child wonder off. She was still under the influence and knew good and well what she was putting into her body. With involuntary manslaughter should be a sentencing of 5 to 10 years at the minimum. Our judicial system is a joke just like governor and presidential pardons are. Those laws should be rewritten.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jan 12, 2012 at 01:45 PM in reply to Dan
      The marijuana? No, that's false, the marijuana wasn't responsible for this. If it was anything drug related it was most likely the anti-depressants, which if they were prescribed then she is only so liable. It was mostly likely just negligence.
  • by You need help, seriously on Jan 12, 2012 at 11:50 AM
    I pray for this toddler and I assure you, she is in a better place now than this crummy world. As for this plea agreement, that is just an embarrassment to the judicial system that this could happen. Complete negligence on behalf of this confused, selfish babysitter. I can't even call her a babysitter because she thought of her own selfish needs first, not the needs of a child that can't take care of herself on her own. In this case, I will judge. Amanda Stump, I hope you rot. I hope you think each and every day about the child you were supposed to take care of. I hope you have a lifetime of physical and emotional problems because of your poor decisions. God help you.
  • by Crystal on Jan 12, 2012 at 11:32 AM
    This is sad to me as a parent. This child was left under her care, therefore making her responsible for that child. For this woman to get a simple slap on the wrist for this is insane and incomprehendable to me. She should have to serve jail time. My heart goes out to the parents of this child. Maybe now they can finally get a little closer to closure.
  • by my decision Location: maryland on Jan 12, 2012 at 10:49 AM
    I think this is terrible,this girl just got away with murder an a baby. At that you go to the store steal a loaf of bread an you go to jail kill a baby and. are let free what was that judge on if that was my child or grand child I would be in jail I would have handled it my way.my sympathy an prayers go to the family grieving over there loss. a s.for.the defendent go to hell.
  • by Mike Location: Havelock on Jan 12, 2012 at 10:35 AM
    Good reason to KNOW your babysitter and only trust your kids to people who have some sense. If you have no trustworthy friends, try meeting people somewhere besides a bar!
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