Palm Bay Woman Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Death of Infant Child

By  //  June 21, 2021

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Hartman pleads guilty to Aggravated Manslaughter of a Child

A Brevard County judge has sentenced 28-year-old Emily Hartman to 10 years in prison for the death of her 14-month infant son, Richard Wighard on April 4, 2019.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – A Brevard County judge has sentenced 28-year-old Emily Hartman to 10 years in prison for the death of her 14-month infant son, Richard Wighard on April 4, 2019.

Hartman entered a plea of guilty to Aggravated Manslaughter of a Child, Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Sell, and Possession of less than 20 Grams of Cannabis.

As part of the plea agreement, Judge Jeffrey Mahl adjudicated Hartman guilty and sentenced her to 10 years in the Department of Corrections for Counts 1 and 2 (served concurrently), followed by 10 years of supervised probation.

Hartman was sentenced to time served (795 days) for Count 3. Hartman was ordered to pay $2043.82 in court costs and other fees.

The State dropped a single count of Neglect of a Child with Great Bodily Harm.

On April 4, 2019, Hartman appeared at a Melbourne Fire Station with her unresponsive 14-month old son who was suffering from heat related distress.

The child later died at a hospital and an autopsy report showed he had suffered fatal heat stroke.

An investigation by Melbourne Police revealed that Hartman left the child alone in a car for hours while she drank at a bar, smoked marijuana and purchased cocaine.

Plea negotiations began after Hartman agreed to accept responsibility for Richard’s death and the drug and alcohol addiction that contributed to her actions.

The State agreed to the 10 year prison sentence, plus an additional 10 years of drug offender probation that includes mandatory drug and alcohol evaluation/testing/treatment, home curfew, and no unsupervised contact with any child under 18 years of age.

Violation of her probation could result in Hartman serving up to an additional 10 years in prison.

Hartman is being held at the Brevard County Jail awaiting transfer to the Florida Department of Corrections to begin serving her sentence.