KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A 34-year-old Knox County woman pleaded guilty Thursday afternoon to reckless homicide in the 2020 bathtub drowning death of her infant child.
Lindsee L. Leonardo, originally charged with felony murder, faces a four-year prison term. She also pleaded guilty to child endangerment, a misdemeanor with a term that will run at the same time as the reckless homicide count.
The prosecutor and defense presented the case to Knox County Criminal Court Judge Scott Green with Leonardo present in court. Leonardo will get credit for time already served in jail.
Leonardo, of Boyd Station Road, left her 11-month-old son Aiden unattended the night of Jan. 9, 2020, while bathing him and her toddler daughter, authorities said. According to the Knox County Sheriff's Office, the mother stepped away for some "me time" and a cigarette.
Leonardo filled the tub with four to six inches of water before stepping away, records show. When she returned, she told investigators the 23-month-old child had turned on the water and the bathtub was filled to the top with 11-month-old Aiden floating on his back, according to authorities
Aiden was unresponsive. Authorities were able to restore his pulse but he succumbed at East Tennessee Children's Hospital.
The child's father, David Brandon Dillingham, told 10News last year he viewed his son's death as an accident and that he didn't blame the mother for it.