A South Carolina mother was sentenced to nine years in prison Friday for leaving her children to perish in a sweltering car in the July heat while she went to work.
"I want to let my family know no matter what happens, I'm going to be OK," a distraught Sametta Heyward, 30, said through tears before she was sentenced by Circuit Judge R. Markley Dennis. "The Lord is going to carry me."
Dennis found Heyward guilty of two counts of homicide by child abuse and two counts of illegal conduct toward a child after a three-day bench trial. Heyward was charged in the 2007 deaths of her 4-year-old son and her daughter, who was nearly 2.
Heyward testified that after the children died, she took them back to her apartment, washed and dressed them and put them on her bed. She said she then bathed herself and put on her pajamas and laid down between after taking prescription medicine in a suicide attempt.
The next day, when she awoke, she testified she went to buy a rope to hang herself. The children were found that evening stuffed in a trash bag beneath her sink.