WEST PENN TOWNSHIP -- A mother charged with the attempted murder of her infant daughter will not spend any time in prison.
Rachel Foose of West Penn Township was sentenced to five years probation. That decision was handed down on Wednesday at the Schuylkill County Courthouse after the mother agreed to plead guilty to lesser charges.
Foose had been facing felony charges, including attempted murder, but under a plea agreement, those charges were downgraded to a lesser charge of endangering the welfare of a child.
Amy Dotson is Foose's neighbor in West Penn Township. She thinks Foose's family moved out after her arrest.
“After it all took place, I did see them packing some things up, I don't really pay attention too much. I honestly, I don't know if they still live there or not,” said Dotson.
Police were called to Foose's home near Tamaqua in October of 2015 after she tried to drown her 1-month-old daughter in the bathtub but stopped. When officers arrived, she told them she “tried to drown the baby because she couldn't handle it.”
The district attorney's office says the felony charges were downgraded to a misdemeanor because Foose suffers from mental illness.
Her neighbors, both mothers, say it’s easy be overwhelmed by the stress of a new baby.
“Oh, absolutely. I mean you’re home and the baby's crying and you're overwhelmed. You don't know what to do. You don't know where to turn,” said Dotson.
“I have three kids of my own. After a child, you know your head kind of gets out there,” said a neighbor who would only give her first name as Jessie.
The district attorney's office said part of the plea deal is that Foose must continue to undergo the treatment she is already receiving for her mental illness.
“I think that mental illness is something that needs to be addressed and you know as long as she gets help, I think that that's the best place for her, not being put in jail,” said Dotson.
“I honestly think, I appreciate they go that route and are looking into that, instead of lock them up and throw away the key,” said Jessie.
Also under the plea agreement, Foose is also allowed to have unsupervised access to her daughter.
It's not clear who is caring for the child at this time.