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Kokomo grandmother sentenced for drowning grandson in bathtub

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Posted at 6:46 PM, Jan 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-21 18:46:27-05

KOKOMO — A Kokomo grandmother has been sentenced after pleading guilty but mentally ill to murdering her 4-year-old grandson.

Helen Martin was arrested in March 2020 after he was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Martin told detectives that she had taken the child, who she and her husband had custody of, to the bathroom to give him a bath, according to court documents. She said she put the child into the tub and then got in with him, fully clothed and sat down. At some point she said she reached up and began holding the child's head under water, drowning him.

When detectives asked Martin why she drowned her grandson, she said she "believed that she had been so depressed recently that she thought (the child) would be better off in heaven than to be with her," court documents state.

Martin was sentenced Thursday to 45 years in prison followed by 20 years supervised probation.

As part of the plea agreement, the neglect of a dependent resulting in death charge was dismissed.