AP NEWS

Mom gets 12 years for neglect

March 16, 2019

Auralea Till has five children : none of whom she has custody of.

She was sentenced Friday to 12 years in prison for neglecting her 8-month-old son, who was found with a plastic bag over his head nearly two years ago.

A jury found Till, 35, guilty last month of neglect of a dependent, which carries a possible sentence of three to 16 years in prison.

Till’s son Vincent was found June 3, 2017, with a plastic bag over his head in the living room of her home. He wasn’t breathing and suffered permanent brain damage, court documents said.

The boy’s father was outside when Till left the house with the boy in her arms to say he wasn’t breathing, investigators said. Till reportedly said the child “got caught up in a plastic bag,” and the affidavit states she smelled of alcohol when police interviewed her.

Till tearfully told Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull on Friday she has since become sober and has attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. In January, she married a man who “is my biggest supporter.”

“I fully accept guilt for my son,” she told the judge during a nearly two-hour sentencing hearing.

“It was my responsibility to protect him and I failed,” she added.

She asked the judge to be lenient, saying she would never “put myself in this situation.”

David Millar, the boy’s foster father, said the boy can’t walk and can’t stand without assistance.

“He doesn’t sleep through the night,” Millar said.

He asked the judge to give Till the maximum sentence but said he realizes she needs help.

“Eventually, she’s going to be released from prison,” he said. “And I want her to come out better than when she came in.”

Allen County Deputy Prosecutor Patricia Pikel said Till doesn’t have custody of her five children, and her drinking has adversely affected three of them.

“I can’t take any of it back. I can’t,” Till said before Gull imposed the sentence. “I will not let it happen again. I do love each and every one of my children and miss them terribly.”

Gull said although Till has made efforts to recover, they “were too little and too late.”

“That child will never have a normal life and it’s because of your conduct,” Gull said.

jchapman@jg.net