Britni Wihebrink said she deserved to go to prison after pleading guilty to neglecting her son

By Elaine Aradillas
July 31, 2020 02:48 PM
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An Indiana mother of a 2-year-old boy who died after climbing into the backseat of a hot car in 2018 was sentenced to 30 years, according to a press release obtained by PEOPLE.

During the early afternoon on Sept. 8, 2018, Britni Wihebrink took a nap with her son Jaxson Stults, reported local TV station Fox59. It would be the last time she’d see him.

“Her 2-year-old son was able to leave the apartment and entered Wihebrink’s car which was parked in the parking lot,” according to a press release from the prosecuting attorney in Delaware County. “He closed himself in the passenger compartment of the car and eventually passed out.”

A neighbor discovered the boy and 911 was called to the apartment complex in Daleville, Indiana. He died on the way to a nearby hospital.

An autopsy revealed the boy died from “hyperthermia with the contributing cause of elevated temperature in an enclosed space,” the press release stated.

Britni Wihebrink
Daleville Police Department

Wihebrink, now 30, who told authorities she had been drinking, pleaded guilty to Neglect of a Dependent Resulting in Death. The press released stated her blood alcohol level was .155 at the time of her arrest.

After Wednesday’s hearing where she was sentenced to 30 years, prosecuting attorney Eric Hoffman said it was her duty to protect her child.

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“Prison is the only appropriate place for a parent who so miserably fails their child that the child dies as a result,” he said. “My heart breaks for these innocent children who needlessly die at such a young age due to the negligence or cruelty of their parents.”

Wihebrink accepted her sentencing and said she deserved to go to prison, local newspaper The Star Press reported.

“I will never again be able to hear [Jaxon’s] laugh, feel his hugs, kiss his face or take him to the park,” the paper reported she said. “If I could go back in time and change anything, I would. I deserve to go to prison, but I also need help. I want to work on my alcohol addiction.”