KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE)- The father of an 11-month-old child who died after being found unresponsive in a Knox County bathtub Wednesday is not blaming the child’s mother.
Brandon says his son, Aiden, always had a smile. He shares two children with the toddler’s mother, Lindsee Leonardo, including a 23-month-old daughter, Sophia.
Leonardo was taken into custody Thursday afternoon and charged with felony aggravated child abuse and first-degree murder by Knox County Sheriff’s Office Family Crimes and Major Crimes Detectives at Children’s Hospital.
Brandon said he isn’t blaming Leonardo and calls Aiden’s death “an accident.”
“She’s just awesome as a mother. I don’t want to see her in prison, she does not deserve to be there. she’s a really loving and caring person. she really is,” said Brandon.
Brandon and Leonardo were not together at the time and do not live together, he was not present Wednesday night.
“It was just the wrong timing, bad timing, unpredictable, really. No one can see into the future, so how can you even know that was even going to happen?” said Brandon.
According to an arrest warrant, Leonardo told police she put the 11-month-old Aiden Xavier Leonardo and her 23-month-old in the bathtub with 4-6 inches of water before going outside to smoke a cigarette and have some, “me time” around 8 p.m. Wednesday. She said she was outside for about 10 minutes.
Leonardo said when she returned, her daughter had turned the water back on, filling the tub to the top. She said Aiden was floating on his back while her daughter stood in the tub.
Leonardo stated she took the infant from the tub to a bed and called 911, with dispatchers instructing her on how to perform CPR.
Bond has been set for $350,000.
Lindsee Louise Leonardo has been Booked and charged with Aggravated Child Abuse, Child Neglect and Child Endangerment of a child eight years old and younger.
Leonardo has also been charged with First Degree Murder in perpetration and attempt to perpetrate a crime.
Leonardo has a felony preliminary hearing on January 20.