180 days in jail for mom who had kids in home full of feces and garbage
TRENTON — A mother has been sentenced to five years of probation and 180 days in jail after police last year found her children living in a home strewn with human feces and garbage, the Mercer Country Prosecutor's Office said Friday.
Trenton resident Haydee Santana was charged in March 2015 with five counts of child endangerment after her 5-year-old daughter told school administrators about the conditions her and her siblings were living in, according to a Trentonian report at the time. Authorities said the home was without gas or electricity and the kids were underfed, in need of medical care and some had severe diaper rashes.
"She has eight children, without any interest or skills in caring for them. ... She had ample opportunities to learn and become aware," Assistant Prosecutor Michael Mennuti said at a sentencing hearing, according to an NJ.com report Friday. The Department of Children and Families had taken away and returned Santana's children multiple times, Mennuti reportedly said.
The mother and her then-boyfriend Jonathan Rivera were arrested in a hospital after Santana gave birth to her sixth and seventh children, who were twins, according to multiple reports. Her kids were taken by the DCF, which had given the mother assistance on in the past.
During the hearing, Santana's attorney blamed Santana's parenting issues on a lack of education and inadequate assistance from DCF, according to NJ.com.