A New York college student who pleaded guilty to smothering her newborn daughter and then placing the infant’s body in a trash bag after hiding her pregnancy has been sentenced to eight years in prison, PEOPLE confirms.
Sharon Seudat, 22, of Glen Head, loudly wept in Nassau County Court while expressing remorse for the infant’s death on March 31, 2016, Newsday reports.
“I’m sorry for what happened and thank you to the court,” she said.
A spokesman for Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas confirmed the sentence of eight years in prison followed by five years of post-release supervision, reached in a plea agreement, that was handed down in a Mineola courtroom Monday by State Supreme Court Justice Angelo Delligatti.
Seudat’s attorney, Edward Lieberman, told the judge, “This is certainly a very difficult situation for everyone involved.”
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
Seudat’s guilty plea to manslaughter avoided the potential punishment of 25 years-to-life in prison if she were convicted of murder at trial, which she averted by accepting the plea agreement offered by the prosecutor.
She had earlier confessed to wrapping the baby in sheets and blankets upon her delivery, and then holding her hand over the child’s mouth before placing the newborn in a garbage bag, according to the Associated Press.
Police discovered the body on the back deck of Seudat’s home after responding to a 911 call and finding Seudat with severe vaginal bleeding that led first responders to transport her to the hospital.
Initially, the Nassau Community College student denied she knew about any baby, and police said she hid her pregnancy from her family as well as the child’s father. After a doctor confirmed she had recently given birth, Seudat acknowledged it to authorities, but said she was afraid and did not want the child.
• For more compelling true crime coverage, follow our Crime magazine on Flipboard.
In a statement, the district attorney noted that New York’s Safe Haven law allows a parent “anonymously and without fear of prosecution” to leave any child less than 30 days old at a hospital, police station or firehouse.
“Instead of taking advantage of this law, which was designed to support mothers and vulnerable children,” Singas said in her statement, “this defendant tragically took her newborn’s life.”