COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A mother accused of trying to kill her son is talking only to KRDO Newschannel 13, saying she suffered a mental breakdown the day she was arrested.
Neysha Hall-Gonzalez, 29, was sentenced to 30 days in jail and eight years of probation Friday, avoiding a maximum sentence of 16 years behind bars. She pleaded guilty to felony child abuse to avoid a trial for attempted first-degree murder.
Hall-Gonzalez was arrested in late January after she abandoned her 2-year-old son, Carmelo, in a ditch in southern El Paso County. Police said they found Hall-Gonzalez wearing a nightgown wandering about a mile from Interstate 25 and mile marker 119.
Officers reported that Hall-Gonzalez was "uncooperative" and eventually told them she had left her son in some bushes, saying, 'You must already know he is deceased.' With the help of a K-9, officers found the boy unharmed.
"On January 28th, I went to hell," Hall-Gonzalez said before her sentencing hearing Friday. "For some reason, my mind just collapsed on me. That day I was seeing things that weren't there. How can a person see things that aren't there? How can a person hear voices that are not there?"
Hall-Gonzalez, a native of Puerto Rico, said she hadn't used drugs or alcohol, and that she's struggled with mental illness for years. She said she had a breakdown after her husband filed for divorce, and had attempted suicide a month before her arrest.
"I never tried to hurt my son, ever," Hall-Gonzalez said. "I would never, ever hurt my kids. I got three kids and I devote my life to them always."
She said since she bailed out of jail in February, she's worked on getting better.
"I've been going to a therapist once a week," she said. "I'm on medication. I take (it) every day."
She said will never forget how she hurt her family and put her little boy's life at risk.
"I did put him in danger, and it doesn't matter (if I was) thinking straight or not," Hall-Gonzalez said. "That's something I recognize. That's something I have to live with the rest of my life. But I also have the rest of my life to make up for that."
Hall-Gonzalez reunited with her husband, a soldier, and he joined her in court Friday along with her mother who visiting from Puerto Rico. All three pleaded with the judge to keep Hall-Gonzalez out of prison.
Hall-Gonzalez was sentenced to five years probation for the child abuse charge and would have avoided jail completely, but was sentenced to 30 days for tampering with a witness. Arrest records show she asked a friend who had given information to police not to testify against her.
The judge in the case said he considered things including Hall-Gonzalez's mental health issues, lack of criminal record before this year, and recommendations from her probation officer when determining the sentence.