A Lake Havasu City woman has entered a plea agreement in the death of her young grandson in a criminal case calling attention to the need to never leave little ones unattended.
Stephanie Rowland, 60, pled guilty February 28 to negligent homicide. Terms of the deal require Judge Billy Sipe to order a 100 day county jail term and place Rowland, 60, on probation during an April 7 sentencing hearing.
Cote told the Court that Rowland was babysitting her two young grandsons last March. He said she placed the boys in a tub of running bathwater before a knock at her door from a carpet cleaner distracted her some 19 minutes as she toured the home with the serviceman.
Cote said the two year old boy was already out of the tub on his own accord when Rowland remembered to check the bathroom. 13 month-old Caleb Rowland-bible was pulled from the water and rushed to Havasu Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
Rowland and defense attorney Bryan Whitney have maintained the position that the drain plug was in the upright position when she answered the door and that it must have somehow dropped into the down position to allow the tub to fill.
In any event, Rowland, overcome with emotion, told the Court she is suffering “short term memory” issues and has no recollection of leaving the boys in the tub.
“I don’t ever remember leaving the children…I don’t remember what happened,” Rowland told Judge Sipe. “This is not in my character, but I am guilty.”
Rowland also agrees to pay $2,754 in restitution.
The victim’s father, Mikael Bible, has initiated wrongful death litigation targeting Rowland in another division of Mohave County Superior Court. That civil case is still pending before Judge Derek Carlisle.