KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Knoxville woman has pleaded guilty in the death of her 11-month old child who drowned in a bathtub last year while she went outside for some ‘me time.’ Lindsee Leonardo, 34, pleaded guilty to reckless homicide and child endangerment Thursday, Aug. 12 in Knox County Criminal Court.
Leonardo will serve four years in prison as a range 1 offender. She had initially been charged with aggravated child abuse and first-degree murder.
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, the 23-month-old had turned the water back on, filling the tub to the top. She said the 11-month old was floating on his back while the 23-month-old stood in the tub. The baby was transported to a local hospital where he later died.
David Brandon, the father of both children, told WATE last year 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.