STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. – A Steamboat Springs woman pleaded guilty to fatal child abuse Wednesday after prosecutors said she left her 3-year-old son alone for three days in a cabin without running water.
Meghan McKeon was sentenced to 22 years in prison after accepting a plea agreement, Steamboat Springs Today reported (http://tinyurl.com/nuqcuhg).
Prosecutors dropped a second child abuse count in exchange for her guilty plea.
Austin Davis died March 27 after McKeon returned to the cabin and found him unresponsive. An autopsy said he died from dehydration.
Police have said they believe McKeon stayed at her boyfriend's house and went to her job while Austin was alone.
McKeon, 25, said in court she had been "spending time with a bottle" chasing unattainable dreams. She said she wasn't a monster and didn't intentionally hurt her son.
She said she wanted to start an organization that would help women.
"I know nothing I say or do will bring my little boy back, but I have hope for a brighter future," she said.
Austin's father, Tyler Davis, was in jail on a harassment conviction when the child died. In a video feed from the jail on Wednesday, he told McKeon he hoped she was not scarred for life.
"Good luck with everything," he said.
Charity O'Konski, Davis' mother and Austin's grandmother, said McKeon took an innocent child's life by putting her own needs first.
"I'm still trying to understand why you did this," she said.
"There is no justice because we can't have Austin back," O'Konski said.
District Judge Shelley Hill called McKeon's actions outrageous.
"The result that happened was inevitable, and you knew it was when you were doing it," Hill said.
McKeon will get credit for the 223 days she has been in jail.
Information from: Steamboat Pilot & Today, http://steamboatpilot.com/