20 years in jail for mom who left toddler dying in a locked car as she partied all night

0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Toddler was left in a locked car in the heart of summer for 14 hours. (Photo: Facebook)
Toddler was left in a locked car in the heart of summer for 14 hours. (Photo: Facebook)

A hard-partying mom who left her toddler in a locked car in the heart of summer has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after her son’s death.

Ashley Howard (21), from Montana, in the USA, was convicted of negligent homicide after her son, Caleb Hopkins (2), died after spending 14 hours in a locked car.

Ashley Howard has been sentenced 20 years in priso
Ashley Howard has been sentenced 20 years in prison after her son’s death. (Photo: Dawson Country Sheriff Dept)

The court heard that on 25 June 2018, Ashley went partying in the evening, and left Caleb in her car. 

She spent most of the following day sleeping off a hangover, and only remembered that Caleb was in the car at 1pm that day.

In total, he’d spent 14 hours in the car, eight of them in the blazing hot sun.

The interior temperature of a car parked in the sun can reach 35°C. 

Ashley rushed her young son to hospital, but Caleb died two days later, of hyperthermia caused from overheating.

Ashley, who pleaded not guilty to the charge, told the court before she was sentenced that she struggled to admit that she killed her own son because she does not want to be the reason for his death. 

She missed him every day, she said.

Check out our trapped in a hot car experiment here:

Sources: People, The Billings Gazette, Kulr8

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24