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Mom Receives 40-Year Sentence After Her Daughters Die in Hot Car

"People take better care of their pets," judge says.

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The Texas mom whose two daughters died after being left in a hot car for 15 hours last summer was sentenced to 40 years in prison. On Wednesday, Amanda Hawkins was ordered to serve two consecutive 20-year terms for the June 2017 deaths of Brynn Hawkins, 1, and Addyson Overgard-Eddy, 2.

“Those precious little girls would still be here today if this had not happened,” Kerr County Judge N. Keith Williams told the 20-year-old during the hearing in Kerrville, Texas. “People in our community take better care of their pets than you took care of your kids.”

Back in September, the mom pled guilty to two felony counts of child abandonment and endangerment along with two counts of injury to a child. According to police reports and witness testimonies, Hawkins left both Brynn and Addyson in a car overnight while she smoked marijuana in a nearby shed. When she returned in the morning, authorities say the outside temperature had risen to 89 degrees.

While Hawkins found the girls unconscious in her car, she waited two hours before taking them to the hospital, where they died two days later. The then-19-year-old said she delayed getting help because she didn’t want to go to jail. She also lied to doctors and police about what had happened, making up a story about smelling poisonous flowers.

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“The most compelling piece of evidence was the slow and painful deaths these children endured — with cramps, headaches, seizures, anxiety and wondering ‘where’s mommy,'” said Judge Williams, referencing statements from Dr. John Gebhart, who spent 40 hours trying to save the toddlers. Gebhart explained that the girls likely suffered from the brain swelling that eventually killed them.

Before being sentenced, Hawkins made an apologetic statement. “I will accept whatever the punishment may be,” she said. “There are no excuses for what I did.”