BATAVIA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Heather Ace will spend the next year in jail for Endangering the Welfare of a Child.
The Batavia mother left her two-year-old twin boys Michael and Micah Gard home alone last May; a house fire broke out, and both children died.
Although she was previously charged with two counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child, Ace pleaded guilty to just one count in February.
She was sentenced Monday in Batavia Town Court by Judge Michael Cleveland.
During sentencing, Judge Cleveland said he had presided over many child endangerment cases, but this was the most tragic he’d seen in years.
He said if Ace would have arranged for child care, the situation would have had a different outcome.
Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini said the DA’s office pushed for jail time because Ace kept changing her story.
“There really is no sentence that will bring back these children,” Cianfrini said.
The ADA went on to say she believes Ace is remorseful for what happened.
According to a statement to law enforcement, Ace told her parents, who lived next door, she was going out to buy diapers. Ace then indicated she had left to buy marijuana, alcohol, and gum.
Officials in Genesee County said Ace was in no way suspected of starting the fire, the cause of which has still not been determined.
Officials hope her jail sentence will be a deterrent for her and others in the community.
Ace’s attorney Benjamin Bonarigo said his client has suffered tremendously due to this incident and is still coping with the loss of her children.
Bonarigo pushed for probation so that Ace could continue to he see her other son, who is 6.
Ace has 30 days to appeal her sentence.