JAMESTOWN, N.D. (KVLY) UPDATE: The Carrington woman charged in the death of her four month old son last July, plead guilty to two felony counts early this morning.
25-year-old Justice Lange was originally charged with manslaughter and one felony count of child neglect, but a plea agreement changed the first count to negligent homicide— keeping the second charge the same.
A Stutsman county judge sentenced Lange to 12 years in prison with two years of supervised probation. Due to her long criminal history, the state asked she be deemed a 'habitual offender,' making the maximum sentence double in both charges.
Lange and her 4-month-old baby, Tyr, went missing for six days last June into July. Her baby was ultimately found in a slough in rural Stutsman county, with an autopsy showing he died of starvation.
After hearing from both the state and defense, Lange addressed the court— Taking 'full responsibility' for using meth and the death of her son, but also blamed her ex-fiance for giving her the drugs in the first place.
"There's no words that I can put into it, because it's affected my life. And nothing that you guys can give me is ever going to amount to what I do to myself every day," Lange said.
However, those comments did not sit well with judge Cherie Clark. Clark told Lange she didn't feel like Lange showed enough remorse or guilt for the crime against baby Tyr, adding that Lange should have expected harm to come to her son the moment she took meth.
"This child completely trusted you for it's life, for its health, for its food, for its water," Clark said.
Those words visibly upset Lange as she clenched her fists and closed her eyes as the judge continued to talk. Judge Clark became emotional herself and called for the courtroom to sit in a minute of silence 'to think about the last minute of (Lange's) child's life while it was starving to death, after being exposed and having no water or clothing for six days.'
"Your conduct killed your child. I just keep thinking about the last hour, minute, second of your child's life and it causes me to lose sleep," Clark continued.
Lange’s ex-fiancé, Jason Wilde, was telephoned into the hearing. He was very emotional, saying he’ll never understand why she did this and he’ll always miss his son. He admitted to getting meth for Lange, but he says it was because Lange asked him to.
Judge Clark handed down a slightly longer sentence than what the state and Lange had come to in their plea agreement. And because of that decision, Lange now has 48 hours to decide if she will take the judge's sentence or if she will withdraw her guilty plea.
ORIGINAL: A Valley News Live exclusive, surrounding new developments in the case of a woman charged in the death of her baby son.
Today we hear the words of the woman accused.
The body of 4-month-old Tyr was found a week ago Saturday, near a slough in rural Stutsman county after a two-day search.
We have a recorded phone conversation involving 25-year-old Justice Lange. She's the Carrington woman, who told authorities that she could not recall a four day span or where she left her baby.
The phone conversation involves a so-called close friend of Lange, who told us the two talked while Lange was in the hospital, before she talked with authorities.
The individual says she recorded the call without Justice's knowledge, in hopes of finding out what happened to Tyr.
Justice describes the day where she and the boy stopped at a Jamestown bar because her vehicle was having problems. She says she was able to get the help she needed and sent a Facebook message that she was on her back.
She says the next thing she remembers is that she was laying in a field with a slough nearby and the baby was crying.
"So I took a little bit of water, I had a headband, a pink head band. I would get that wet and I would dab it on his lips and I was sitting in the water with him and he wouldn't come back to," Lange said.
Lange went on to say that she tried CPR, but it didn't work. She said she laid in the reeds with the baby for hours and he wouldn't move.
That's when she made the decision to leave.
"And then for some reason, I just got up and I said my good-byes to him. And I covered him up as best as I could and I went and just started walking," Lange said.
Lange said she walked to a grove of trees near some farm machinery, and fell asleep. When she woke up the next day, she started walking again and was picked up by a passerby.
When asked why she didn't call 9-1-1, Lange said that she didn't have her phone.
Lange also says in the recording she did what she thought was meth the day before she left.
We reached out to prosecutors to see if they also have this recording, however we didn't hear back.
Lange remains in jail on $250,000 bond. She is charged with manslaughter and child neglect. If convicted, she could wind up spending 15 years in prison.