CLINTON, Ill. – A mother convicted of allowing her three children to drown was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in prison.
Amanda Hamm, 30, was convicted in December in the deaths of Christopher Hamm, 6, Austin Brown, 3, and Kyleigh Hamm, 1, who were trapped inside a car that sank in Clinton Lake in 2003. Hamm was cleared of first-degree murder charges that would have sent her to prison for life.
Earlier some of Hamm's relatives said they would seek mercy for her but others, including the children's father, were hoping she would be given the maximum sentence.
Hamm and then-boyfriend Maurice LaGrone Jr., who was convicted of first-degree murder in April, said the drownings were a tragic accident.
LaGrone, 31, who is serving a life sentence without a chance of parole, has appealed his conviction.
Prosecutors alleged LaGrone had planned to kill the children because they were getting in the way of his sex-and-drugs lifestyle. Hamm went along with the plan — as well as LaGrone's abuse of her and her children — because she could not live without a man, prosecutors said.
Hamm and LaGrone have maintained the car accidentally rolled into about 4 1/2 feet of water as LaGrone tried to back up from a boat ramp where he had parked during a family outing.