Local woman pleads guilty to charges in toddler’s drowning death
A Waco woman pleaded guilty Monday to charges stemming from the drowning death of her 2 ½ -year-old son in 2016.
Tiffany Watson, 22, pleaded guilty to injury to a child Monday in 19th District Court in Waco and State District Judge Ralph Strother ordered a pre-sentence investigation.
Her son, Bentley Watson, was found at the bottom of a cloudy backyard pool in May of 2016 after she woke up and discovered he wasn’t in the family’s home in the 200 block of Tennessee Avenue near the Cameron Park zoo.
Watson’s indictment says Watson failed “to adequately secure her residence to prevent Bentley Watson, a toddler, from drowning, and the defendant had a statutory or legal duty to act, namely, as the toddler’s parent.”
The boy’s parents went to a nearby City of Waco maintenance shops to ask for help after discovering the toddler was missing at around 9:45 a.m. on May 16, 2016.
Police were called, and a number of city employees along with some members of the staff of the Cameron Park Zoo joined in the frantic search.
One of the police officers who responded started to look around the home and found a child’s blanket lying on the diving board of the pool, the bottom of which wasn’t visible because the water was so cloudy, police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said at the time.
Police then used a skimmer to search the pool where they found the unresponsive boy.
Officers performed CPR until an ambulance arrived.
The boy was taken to Baylor Scott &White Hillcrest Medical Center where Justice of the Peace Diane Hensley pronounced him dead and ordered an autopsy.
At the time of the accident Hensley said, “This appears to be nothing, but a terrible tragedy.”