Mother sentenced to 16 months in jail after boyfriend killed her two-year-old son

A woman whose boyfriend killed her son while she was at work has been sentenced to 16 months in jail.

Rebecca Hogue, 29, was convicted in November of the first-degree murder of her two-year-old son Ryder, under Oklahoma’s “failure to protect” laws.

A jury recommended she be sentenced to life in prison, but a judge has suspended the sentence to 16 months.

It means she will spend 13 months behind bars, due to time already served.

Speaking at her sentencing, Hogue said she would do anything to go back and prevent her son’s death.

“I was so proud of having such a beautiful, strong, smart, healthy child,” Hogue said, according to the Norman Transcript.

“The only thing in two years that has brought me peace is that the man who did this is dead. I know my child is in heaven and that [Trent] is nowhere near him.”

Sentencing Hogue, Judge Michael Tupper told her she did “not deserve to die in prison”.

“You are not a monster,” the judge continued. “You have value and you have worth.”

Hogue’s case drew significant attention from media and women’s rights groups after she was charged with first-degree murder under the state’s controversial “failure to protect” law. In Oklahoma, parents who fail to protect their children from child abuse can be charged with the same crimes as the actual abuser.

Ryder was found dead on New Year’s Day 2020. Hogue woke to find him not breathing. Her boyfriend, Christopher Trent, had disappeared.

Four days after Ryder’s death, police found Trent’s body in the Wichita Mountains after an apparent suicide. The words “Rebecca is innocent” were carved into a tree nearby.

A coroner’s report concluded Ryder’s cause of death was blunt-force trauma, and prosecutors later said it was clear Trent had killed him.

Hogue said she had no idea Trent was abusing Ryder until his death, though she had begun to notice the boy had minor unexplained injuries.