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Prosecutor: Baby left to die for 8 days
Peoria Journal Star ^ | 2/21/08 | Andy Kravetz

Posted on 02/21/2008 10:40:12 AM PST by LibWhacker

Parents of 5-month-old appear in court to face first-degree murder charges, may be facing death penalty

PEORIA - Benjamin Sargent died with his eyes open, fists clenched and strapped into a car seat after eight days without food or water, the county's top prosecutor said Wednesday.

The 5-month-old was dropped off at his parents' house on Feb. 4, wearing a bright-blue snow suit and strapped into his car seat. Eight days later, he was found in the same position, said Peoria County State's Attorney Kevin Lyons during a bond hearing for the parents, who are charged with capital murder for their son's death.

"It's the worst case of child neglect we have seen since the turn of this century," Lyons said afterward. "(On Tuesday), I told (Peoria Police) Chief (Steven) Settingsgaard that this case even rattled me."

Charged are Tracy D. Hermann, 21, and James E. Sargent, 23, both of 3012 W. Proctor St., with two counts of first-degree murder. Additionally, the charges state the parents' actions or lack thereof, were "brutal and heinous . . . indicative of wanton cruelty," factors that could mean they face up to 100 years in prison if convicted.

Lyons also said he might seek the death penalty for the two and has 120 days to make such a decision. State law allows a capital charge if the accused is older than 17 and the victim is younger than 12.

"He died from starvation due to neglect from these two defendants, his parents," Lyons said, spitting out the last word with contempt.

Several courthouse employees gathered in the third-floor courtroom for the hearing; many curious as rumors had been circulating throughout the day about the case. When the two walked into the room, the idle chatter immediately stopped and all eyes stared at Sargent and Hermann.

During the 20-minute hearing, both parents appeared before Circuit Judge Glenn Collier. Sargent said virtually nothing and carried a blank look on his face. Hermann told Collier her attorney was in Hawaii so she requested a court-appointed lawyer.

Collier ordered the two held without bond, pending a hearing Friday afternoon when it is expected that Lyons, who has indicated he will prosecute the case, will present more evidence as to why the two should not be released pending trial.

Peoria County Coroner Johnna Ingersoll said Wednesday afternoon Benjamin weighed 10 pounds when he was found by police. He was nearly eight pounds at birth, she said.

Reading from a prepared statement, Lyons said police found the infant sitting in his own waste, all the while strapped into the seat which was in a crib.

A person who was staying at an unattached garage adjacent to the house had seen Benjamin at some point, thought it was "odd" that he was still on the living room floor after being dropped off and moved him, car seat and all, into the other room.

There Benjamin sat for eight days, most of which both Hermann and Sargent were home, "playing video games, watching TV, feeding and caring for themselves," Lyons said afterward.

Police had interviewed Sargent, who at first told them he had moved the baby "once or twice," but later conceded that he might not have moved Benjamin at all during the week, Lyons said.

"The person from the garage tells police that Benjamin was found just as he had left him eight days earlier," the prosecutor said.

Hermann's last contact with her son was the night before police were notified. Then, she allegedly told police she "looked at the baby in the crib and presumed he was sleeping so she said she stuck a bottle between the baby and the side of the car seat so that when he woke up, he could grab it and feed himself," Lyons said in open court.

"In case the court had missed it earlier, Benjamin Sargent was five months old," he said, staring directly at Hermann.

The house, Lyons said, was in complete disarray, with clothing everywhere and spoiled food left out. The temperature in the baby's room was nearly 80 degrees and was also filthy, he said.

Hermann then left for Iowa to meet with a man she had met over the Internet, the prosecutor said, noting that she allegedly told police "that Benjamin was not her duty and that it was James' responsibility."

When asked if either exhibited signs of mental illness, Lyons said they showed no such signs from the state's point of view.

"Police noted that she seemed callous and somewhat annoyed with the process, something similar to what she showed in the courtroom today," he said.

Prosecutors from Lyons' juvenile division have already begun proceedings to permanently remove Hermann's 3-year-old daughter from the home. That child was staying with another family member but is now in foster care with Department of Family and Children's Services.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Illinois
KEYWORDS: baby; car; lefttodie; peoria; sargent; seat; sick
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1 posted on 02/21/2008 10:40:13 AM PST by LibWhacker
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To: LibWhacker
They look possessed
2 posted on 02/21/2008 10:42:00 AM PST by dynachrome (Immigration without assimilation means the death of this nation~Captainpaintball)
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To: LibWhacker

Prayers for his little soul.


3 posted on 02/21/2008 10:42:49 AM PST by NonValueAdded (Who Would Montgomery Brewster Choose?)
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To: NonValueAdded

The baby’s if there is any question. His biological parents don’t have one.


4 posted on 02/21/2008 10:43:45 AM PST by NonValueAdded (Who Would Montgomery Brewster Choose?)
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To: LibWhacker

These two need to receive the exact same treatment - strap them into a chair and let them starve to death. These animals should be put down.


5 posted on 02/21/2008 10:43:47 AM PST by AD from SpringBay (We deserve the government we allow.)
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To: LibWhacker

6 posted on 02/21/2008 10:44:08 AM PST by Vaquero (" an armed society is a polite society" Heinlein "MOLON LABE!" Leonidas of Sparta)
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To: LibWhacker

speechless


7 posted on 02/21/2008 10:44:41 AM PST by Squidpup ("Fight the Good Fight")
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To: NonValueAdded

Unspeakable Evil...


8 posted on 02/21/2008 10:45:00 AM PST by Frobenius
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To: LibWhacker

Simply evil.


9 posted on 02/21/2008 10:45:38 AM PST by AndyTheBear (Disastrous social experimentation is the opiate of elitist snobs.)
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To: LibWhacker

THere’s a special place in hell for these two.


10 posted on 02/21/2008 10:45:54 AM PST by bonfire
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To: LibWhacker
"Police noted that she seemed callous and somewhat annoyed with the process, something similar to what she showed in the courtroom today,"

Meth withdrawals

11 posted on 02/21/2008 10:46:09 AM PST by squidly
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To: LibWhacker

Evil.

Heinous beyond words.

But morally no different than what was done to Terri Schindler Schiavo, or to the babes left to die in Illinois hospitals because of the callous disregard for the unalienable right to life shown by Barack Obama.

This is the Left’s legacy.


12 posted on 02/21/2008 10:46:38 AM PST by EternalVigilance (McCain supporters: "We have nothing to offer but fear itself!")
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To: LibWhacker

Good Lord.


13 posted on 02/21/2008 10:46:52 AM PST by gracesdad
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To: Squidpup

I want these 2 to stop using our air. uggh, what kind of parents brought these 2 slime into the world.

put them to death. puhleaze.


14 posted on 02/21/2008 10:47:09 AM PST by Chuzzlewit
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To: LibWhacker

The pictures look as if the photographer said, “Now, I want to see a look that will make everyone in America and abroad hate and loathe the sight of you, seeing in your faces the kind of morally clueless, arrogant, callous disgregard that — apart from demon possession — and be the only possible explanation for this act. Can you do that? Oh, good, good! Hold that expression!”


15 posted on 02/21/2008 10:48:09 AM PST by BibChr ("...behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, so what wisdom is in them?" [Jer. 8:9])
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To: LibWhacker

Sick, sick, sick. I hope they fry.


16 posted on 02/21/2008 10:49:01 AM PST by Ditto (Global Warming: The 21st Century's Snake Oil)
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To: LibWhacker
Image ©Bruce Lewis/Flickr
17 posted on 02/21/2008 10:49:26 AM PST by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
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To: LibWhacker

Amazing!

You need a liscense to:

drive
get married
own a dog
hunt
fish

But to have a child....


18 posted on 02/21/2008 10:49:27 AM PST by rfreedom4u (My Freedom of speech trumps your feelings!)
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To: AD from SpringBay

My thought exactly.


19 posted on 02/21/2008 10:49:42 AM PST by I'm ALL Right! (Dear RNC: Not one Conservative Candidate? Not one "RED" penny)
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To: AD from SpringBay

Can you imagine his desolation? These 2 at least would understand that they were being punished. That poor little guy would’ve had no idea.

I don’t understand that somebody went into the home and moved him to another room.


20 posted on 02/21/2008 10:51:13 AM PST by definitelynotaliberal
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To: LibWhacker

But remember, if they had killed him 6 months earlier, it would have been legal. Any questions ?

Ask THIS to the Obama supporters.


21 posted on 02/21/2008 10:52:06 AM PST by AbeKrieger (There is a special place in Hell for Lyndon Johnson.)
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To: LibWhacker

“”James Sargent was at the home when police arrived. He had been left to care for his son while Hermann, the baby’s mother, was away in Iowa, authorities said.””

http://www.pjstar.com/stories/021908/TRI_BFR035TP.032.php


22 posted on 02/21/2008 10:53:07 AM PST by Between the Lines (I am very cognizant of my fallibility, sinfulness, and other limitations.)
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To: LibWhacker
Hermann told Collier her attorney was in Hawaii ...

I wonder what else she's been up to in order to already have an attorney.

23 posted on 02/21/2008 10:53:08 AM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: AD from SpringBay
I think if I were the Guv and these convicted murderers’ death date was coming up I would give them a reprieve and let em sit out the next 30 years in prison. After all if this child had been half a year younger they could have legally hacked him up.

I am curious if Meth or other drugs were involved.

24 posted on 02/21/2008 10:53:36 AM PST by Monterrosa-24 (...even more American than a French bikini and a Russian AK-47.)
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To: LibWhacker

They’ll be murdered in prison. Hell won’t have them either.


25 posted on 02/21/2008 10:54:30 AM PST by Spok (Ignorance is no excuse-it's the real thing.)
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To: LibWhacker

I’m just sick.
This is unbelievably evil.
This world has become too strange to live in. :-(


26 posted on 02/21/2008 10:54:51 AM PST by Bobalu (I guess I see'd that varmint for the last time....)
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To: BibChr
The pictures look as if the photographer said, “Now, I want to see a look that will make everyone in America and abroad hate and loathe the sight of you, seeing in your faces the kind of morally clueless, arrogant, callous disgregard that — apart from demon possession — and be the only possible explanation for this act. Can you do that? Oh, good, good! Hold that expression!”

No kidding! I've seen lots of pictures of perps here but these two creep me out like no others.

27 posted on 02/21/2008 10:56:32 AM PST by Dianna
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To: Monterrosa-24
I am curious if Meth or other drugs were involved.

I don't know. It sounds like drugs and two psychopathic individuals who had a pissing contest over whose turn it was to take care of 'the kid', with neither one of them willing to give in.
28 posted on 02/21/2008 10:57:03 AM PST by AD from SpringBay (We deserve the government we allow.)
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To: LibWhacker

Evil. Too bad they cannot be made to die the same way.


29 posted on 02/21/2008 10:57:15 AM PST by apocalypto
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To: LibWhacker

God and I are having a talk when I get to heaven about how he can allow these things to happen to babies. I feel sick about this little one. I know he is being fed and cradled in the arms of Jesus, but good grief, why can’t these people give their children to someone who will love them?!


30 posted on 02/21/2008 10:57:18 AM PST by DallasDeb ((a.k.a. USAFA2006Mom!))
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To: dynachrome
They look possessed

. . . or satanic (or Goth-like).

31 posted on 02/21/2008 10:58:24 AM PST by DallasDeb ((a.k.a. USAFA2006Mom!))
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To: LibWhacker

Absolutely sickening.


32 posted on 02/21/2008 11:00:12 AM PST by Kolb
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To: dynachrome

Their faces certainly lack something.


33 posted on 02/21/2008 11:00:29 AM PST by Xenophon450 (I guess I'll never know, some things under the sun can never be understood...)
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To: Xenophon450

“faces certainly lack something”

Humanity.


34 posted on 02/21/2008 11:01:29 AM PST by dynachrome (Immigration without assimilation means the death of this nation~Captainpaintball)
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To: LibWhacker

Monsters.


35 posted on 02/21/2008 11:01:45 AM PST by marinamuffy ("..pacifism ensures that cruelty will prevail on earth." - Dennis Prager)
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To: Dianna

They both look seriously demonic and barely human. I would imagine there were large quantities of drugs involved here.


36 posted on 02/21/2008 11:01:48 AM PST by Free Vulcan (Don't think I can vote for you John, I'm feelin' like a maverick.)
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To: Dianna

They both look seriously demonic and barely human. I would imagine there were large quantities of drugs involved here.


37 posted on 02/21/2008 11:01:48 AM PST by Free Vulcan (Don't think I can vote for you John, I'm feelin' like a maverick.)
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To: EternalVigilance

But morally no different than what was done to Terri Schindler Schiavo, or to the babes left to die in Illinois hospitals because of the callous disregard for the unalienable right to life shown by Barack Obama.

This is the Left’s legacy.

BINGO!


38 posted on 02/21/2008 11:11:58 AM PST by Bitsy
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To: LibWhacker

No mention of either having a job. That helpless infant must’ve screamed, at least in the beginning. How could they ignore that?


39 posted on 02/21/2008 11:13:02 AM PST by informavoracious ("Help me, Obama-Wan Kenyabi, you're my only hope!" do I need to point out this tagline is sarcasm?)
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To: definitelynotaliberal
I don’t understand that somebody went into the home and moved him to another room.

Sounds like that happened pretty soon after he'd been "dropped off" onto the living room floor.

40 posted on 02/21/2008 11:15:32 AM PST by GovernmentShrinker
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To: LibWhacker

I can almost picture Satan cackling in laughter and saying to those two depraved demonettes, “Nice work! I trained you well, didn’t I?”

Kill them.


41 posted on 02/21/2008 11:16:42 AM PST by mkjessup (Any SOB who calls John F'in Kerry "his dear friend" will NEVER get my vote, no way, no how.)
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To: LibWhacker

This is what the philosophy of the abortion culture will lead to: absolute narcissism.

The infant was inconvenient, so kill him.

Pure evil.


42 posted on 02/21/2008 11:16:55 AM PST by dashing doofus (Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber)
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To: LibWhacker

God, I should have just by passed this article, now I’m in tears just thinking how much that poor little innocent baby must have suffered. I have a three month old grandbaby and .....well, ....:(


43 posted on 02/21/2008 11:23:42 AM PST by RoseofTexas
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To: AD from SpringBay
These two need to receive the exact same treatment - strap them into a chair and let them starve to death. These animals should be put down.

Tie them to trees and flog them first; sometimes a lil cruel and unusual punishment is in order.

44 posted on 02/21/2008 11:25:45 AM PST by NRA1995 (Bill Clinton: HILLARY!'s other big ass)
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To: LibWhacker
The author ties should put them in an empty secure room with a couple of chairs and tell them they’ll be back in a little while to check on them, then lock the door and check back in a month or two...
45 posted on 02/21/2008 11:33:21 AM PST by ejonesie22 (Haley Barbour 2012, Because he has experience in Disaster Recovery.)
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To: RoseofTexas

“God, I should have just by passed this article, now I’m in tears”

DITTO!!


46 posted on 02/21/2008 11:34:08 AM PST by acoulterfan
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To: squidly

They must have been on meth that whole week. Does anyone remember the scene in “Trainspotting” in the squat when our junkie characters suddenly notice the baby of one of them has starved?

If they wanted to kill the kid, I rather think they would have gone about it differently. They would have buried the boy somewhere and said he was with relatives, etc.


47 posted on 02/21/2008 11:39:13 AM PST by sinanju
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To: RoseofTexas

I know what you mean, RT, sorry. Glad I’m not on the jury. It wouldn’t do to have a full-grown man blubbering away in the jury box.

Some days, usually after reading an article like this one, I think I’ll just walk away from the news and never look at it again.


48 posted on 02/21/2008 11:39:25 AM PST by LibWhacker
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To: ejonesie22

This is Illinois? Didn’t the previous piece of slime governor outlaw the death penalty? Perhaps some of the soft on crime types will have second thoughts now.


49 posted on 02/21/2008 11:42:32 AM PST by TNCMAXQ
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To: LibWhacker
[Lyons also said he might seek the death penalty for the two and has 120 days to make such a decision.]

E-mail address for Peoria County State’s Attorney Kevin Lyons: sao@peoriacounty.org

50 posted on 02/21/2008 11:43:01 AM PST by Brad from Tennessee ("A politician can't give you anything he hasn't first stolen from you.")
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