Kokomo woman sentenced for drowning grandson in bathtub

Keywords Kokomo / Murder / Sentence

A Kokomo woman who police say confessed to drowning her 4-year-old grandson was sentenced Thursday to 65 years.

Helen Martin, 58, will serve 45 years in prison and the remainder under supervised probation, the Kokomo Tribune reported.

Martin pleaded guilty last month to murder. A charge of neglect of a dependent resulting in death was dismissed.

First responders found Martin’s 4-year-old grandson Leo Rae Zingoni unconscious and unresponsive inside a bathroom in Martin’s home on March 28, 2020, court records said. Martin was the child’s guardian.

She told police that she drew the child a bath, placed the child in the tub, then got into the same tub with her clothes on and held the boy’s head underwater, court records said.

Martin told police that “she believed that she had been so depressed recently that she thought he would be better off in heaven than to be with her,” court records said.

Martin’s husband, Brian, told the court that what his wife did to their family was “evil.”

“I’m your husband,” Brian said, looking at Helen on the screen. “You forced me to condemn my wife. … I’m mad as hell at you. … You killed Leo for your own selfish reasons. Leo didn’t belong to you. You were his guardian. Leo loved and trusted you, and you killed him in the cruelest way. … You killed your daughter’s son. Did you ever think about that?”

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