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Croton-On-Hudson Mother Pleads Guilty, Expected To Avoid Jail In Daughter's Death

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- A Croton-on-Hudson mother pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges that she caused the death of her 6-year-old daughter last year from a drug overdose, but said it was "an accident."

As CBS2's Dave Carlin reported, the plea will likely keep her out of prison.

Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore said Kathleen Dymes pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide, misdemeanor child endangerment and possession of a controlled substance.

She faces up to four years in prison, but Dymes is expected to be sentenced to five years probation, WCBS 880's Peter Haskell reported. Judge Barbara Zambelli was prepared to show mercy.

"I do think she is a life-long drug addict, but I think as it stands today, she has gone through enough" Zambelli said. "The tragedy involved and the loss of her child -- by all accounts, she was the most devoted of mothers."

Dymes was brought in and out of the courthouse on a stretcher, CBS2's Dave Carlin reported. She was then taken back to the hospital where she suffers from severe depression brought on by years of substance abuse, Carlin reported.

The little girl, Lacey Carr, died on Easter last year.

Dymes and her daughter were both found unresponsive inside of a Croton-on-Hudson home on Easter. The discovery was made by the girl's father. He was not living with them at the time.

When emergency responders arrived, they performed CPR in an effort to revive Lacey, but she was pronounced dead a short time later, authorities said.

Dymes was also found unconscious on the floor next to her daughter's bed and was taken to the hospital, according to authorities.

When police searched Dymes' home later that day, the district attorney's office said they found an open bottle of alcohol and "various and numerous over-the-counter, prescription and illegal drugs strewn about the room."

Investigators said two suicide notes were left near the mother and child. Dymes ahs a history of drunk driving and drug addiction.

Prosecutors alleged that Lacey died after ingesting a fatal combination of Benadryl, morphine and diazepam, an antidepressant.

In court Tuesday, Dymes was in tears while answering questions.

Prosecutor: "You further admit that you, acting in your role as mother and caregiver to Lacey Carr, that you failed to provide the child with adequate supervision and guardianship by creating a dangerous environment for the child while you both occupied that second-floor bedroom? Do you admit that?"

Dymes: "Yes, it was an accident."

Prosecutor: "Again, do you admit that ma'am?"

Dymes: "Yes."

Prosecutor: "You failed in your legal obligation as a parent to obtain immediate medical care for Lacey Carr in an effort to save her life and instead of seeking medical care for your child, you proceeded to intoxicate yourself with alcohol and prescription drugs, is that correct?"

Dymes: "No, she was already dead...Lacey was already dead. It's not that I didn't get help for her, she was gone already."

Prosecutor: "Ma'am, you did not call 911 or attempt to get medical aid in any attempt to resuscitate or save the life of your child, is that right?"

Dymes: "No because she was gone already."

Prosecutors wanted prison time, but Zambelli told the court that Dymes will get probation.

Dymes was returned to the hospital after he day in court. Her attorney Hillary Nappi did not have a comment.

"No there's nothing that will be commenting on at this time as she is still engaging in treatment.

Sentencing for Dymes is set for April 12. The judge said she plans to give Dymes five years of probation for the felony charge, plus three ears for each additional charge.

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