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La Vista woman pleads guilty to child abuse in connection with 1-month-old son's death

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A La Vista woman has pleaded guilty to a charge of felony child abuse in connection with the death of her month-old son. 

Sara K. Hartman

Hartman

Sara K. Hartman, 26, entered the plea in Sarpy County District Court on Wednesday. The plea was in exchange for prosecutors amending the charge from felony child abuse resulting in death to felony child abuse resulting in injury. Charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and misdemeanor child abuse of a second child were dismissed. 

If she had been convicted of the original charge, Hartman would have faced up to 20 years in prison. The maximum penalty for felony child abuse resulting in injury is four years in prison.

Hartman is scheduled to be sentenced in December. 

The La Vista Police Department said officers went to a home near 69th Street and La Vista Drive on Jan. 8 after 911 was called. A 1-month-old boy was found dead.

Police also found a 16-month-old boy safe in a crib. He was taken to Children's Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha and placed in state custody. 

The boy's father, 31-year-old Andrew Lowell of La Vista, was cited on suspicion of misdemeanor child abuse and marijuana possession. The charge of misdemeanor child abuse was later dismissed. 

Lowell was found guilty of possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. He was fined a total of $325. 

The couple's surviving child ultimately was placed in the custody of a paternal relative, according to court records.

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