A Cleveland mother convicted of driving drunk and paralyzing her son wants out of prison early, but despite a tearful plea in court, a judge denied her request.
Prosecutors say on Jan. 3, 2013, Antonia Earley was driving more than 70 mph on side streets when she crashed into a pole in the area of East 82nd Street and Broad Avenue in Cleveland. Police say she was more than two and a half times the legal limit.
Earley had her 1-year-old son, Ayden, seated in the front passenger seat of the vehicle. The child was not in a car seat and was restrained only by the seatbelt.
When Police and EMS arrived on scene, they found Ayden unconscious on the front seat. He suffered multiple fractures to both femurs, head and brain trauma, as well as vertebrae fractures, leaving him paralyzed from the neck down.
Police also located an unloaded handgun in Earley's vehicle.
She was sentenced to three years in prison.
Earley has served one year and six months of her sentence so far. She says she's learned her lesson and wants to help raise her child, who now needs 24-hour care.
"Ayden's medical problems will last a lifetime, in comparison to a three-year sentence. A three-year sentence is far less to the sentence that Ayden must endure," said assistant prosecutor Holly Welsh.
In a tearful plea, Earley told the judge Ayden's father wanted her help raising their fragile son.
"I made a mistake. I made a mistake. And I love my son. And it's all I got. I'm sorry," said Earley.
Her lawyer tried to show she had been a responsible prisoner, attending every program available to her. She explained how Earley was a tormented woman struggling to live with a decision that will haunt her forever.
Then it was time for Judge Brian Corrigan to make his decision.
"The father in me wants to grant, but the judge in me says no. Denied," said Corrigan.
Ayden's father has custody now. He was fighting for it before the crash and blames social workers for doing too much to try and help the mother, while doing nothing to help him.