9 years in prison for teen who left baby in trash bag

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Harriette Hoyt learned her fate Friday morning in Chemung County Court.

Hoyt was sentenced to nine years in state prison plus five years of post-release supervision.  

Hoyt pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted murder for leaving her eight-month-old baby outside in a garbage bag on August 5th, 2017.

The baby was found by neighbors almost 72 hours later in the bushes behind a house on 609 Walnut Street in Elmira.

Hoyt released a written admission in court stating she “snapped” that day in August when she left her baby, Sabrina Hoyt inside a plastic trash bag in the bushes.  It also states Hoyt had an argument with a friend that led to the crime and did not tell anyone what she did to Sabrina.

Hoyt’s defense attorney John Brennan says she is suffering from postpartum depression.

Her written admission earned her no sympathy from Chemung County District Attorney Weeden Wetmore.

“The facts and circumstances surrounding what she did during the crime and what she did afterward and how she continued to hide her actions,” Wetmore said.  “I don’t think a jury would ever bought any of that and I think that instead we would’ve had a guilty verdict.”

Because Hoyt is only 17-years-old, Wetmore tells 18 News nine years is a substantial prison sentence for someone with no criminal history.

“I’m glad that we got a quick resolution,” said Wetmore.  “The child has been removed from this mother, hopefully this mother never has any contact with the child.” 

Now it’s time for healing, especially for baby Sabrina, who is healthy and safe.

Judge Richard Rich signed an order of protection prohibiting Hoyt from having any contact with her daughter.
    
Defense attorney John Brennan released this statement on behalf of Hoyt to 18 News:

“This is a very sad, tragic situation from which everyone walks away broken. There is a baby, with scars both physical and psychological, who we are so happy is doing well and has a great future ahead of her.  There is also a young teenage mother, who is going to prison.  She will serve her time for the offense against her daughter, and looks forward to one day rejoining society and being a productive person.  It is my sincere hope that we as a society – especially those families of struggling young parents – can go out of our way to ensure that those vulnerable and struggling have the help and support they need, so that we can prevent a situation like this from ever happening again.”

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