A former Army specialist was sentenced Wednesday for the death of her infant daughter, who was abandoned in a park on a cold night in Alaska, say news reports from Anchorage.
Former Spc. Ashley Ard arrived at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in September 2013 and the next month she delivered the baby at her own home, according to a KTUU report. She then drove with the infant to a park and placed the newborn in a concealed spot under brush.
A man walking his dog in the park heard the infant’s cries, and he and the dog found the baby wrapped in a towel, the report said. Police who came to the scene saw that the baby was not breathing. She died during the night.
Ard, 24 at the time, was indicted on first-degree murder charges by a grand jury. In 2017, she pleaded guilty in exchange for the murder charge reduced to a charge of manslaughter, the report said.
She was sentenced to 12 years in prison, with three years suspended. The sentence could be reduced further for good conduct, said Anchorage Superior Court Judge Kevin Saxby.
“I would like you to know that Parker losing her life was not intentional,” Ard said tearfully at the sentencing, according to the report. “I sincerely regret what has happened. I think about her every single day, and she will forever be in my heart.”
The prosecution had sought a 20-year sentence with five years suspended.
“This is a sad case, a tragic situation. There’s a baby that isn’t four-and-a-half years old right now,” said Jenna Gruenstein of the Office of Special Prosecutions.