A contrite mother of two was sentenced Monday to 18 months of probation for biting one of her children.
Judge Matthew Headley gave Kelly Anne Lashbrook, 26, a suspended year-and-a-half sentence, all of which will be served on probation. Lashbrook must also take parenting classes and perform 32 hours of community service.
"I know what I did was wrong," Lashbrook said in court. "I won't let myself do it again."
Lashbrook pled guilty to a Class D felony charge of battery resulting in bodily injury at her initial hearing on Dec. 15.
Lashbrook's attorney Melinda Jackman-Hanlin lobbied for misdemeanor conviction and sentencing for her client, pointing out that Lashbrook had pled guilty before she had counsel and "admitted what she did was wrong."
However, Headley ruled the felony charge would stand.
In court, Lashbrook, also the mother of a 4-month-old, expressed remorse for biting her 4-year-old son on the cheek. She was shopping when the incident occurred, she said.
"He was acting up," she said. "He was screaming … I don't know why I did it, but I turned around and bit him on the cheek."
Lashbrook blamed the incident on the anti-anxiety medication Klonopin, which had been prescribed to her and she was taking at the time. She said she stopped taking the medication right after she bit her son.
Lashbrook spent two days after her arrest in jail before going before Headley and being released on her own recognizance.
"I was very upset I was in jail," Lashbrook said in court. "It's terrible. It's not a place I want to go back to."
Lashbrook's only other criminal history is a misdemeanor driving under the influence conviction in Johnson County. Putnam County probation officer Teresa Parrish said she believed Lashbrook was sorry for what she had done and was unlikely to commit a similar offense any time in the future.
Lashbrook was living in Cloverdale when she was arrested, but now lives in Marion County. Parrish said she believed the aggravating factors outweighed the mitigating factors in the case and recommended three years of probation for Lashbrook.
"I'd like for her probation to be left here long enough to make sure programs are followed and some drug screens can be performed," Parrish said.
Deputy Prosecutor Justin Long recommended jail time for Lashbrook.
"I'd recommend some executed time as well," he said. "Maybe 90 days."
At the close of the hearing, Headley left Lashbrook with a stern warning, pointing out that while medication is beneficial in some respects, abusing it almost always leads to problems.
"Obviously, the most precious thing you have is your children," he said. "You can't be doing this kind of activity, or you will lose those children."