PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The woman who drowned her son in a local hotel bathtub has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Sharon Flanagan had been found guilty of first-degree murder in September.
Prosecutors said Flanagan killed the 2-year-old boy because she was upset her ex-husband had been granted 70 percent custody.
Steven Flanagan, the father of the victim and husband of Sharon Flanagan, spoke extensively after today’s sentencing.
He brought a picture of the boy to court as he delivered a victim impact statement.
“It’s one of the most important pictures. It’s a picture that the church folks put together and brought to Steven’s funeral and it’s a picture of him at one of his first Halloweens and we dressed him up in a little doggie suit because he loved to crawl and he loved to climb. We got him right at the perfect moment when he was smiling and his little blue eyes open so it’s very priceless. It’s always on display in the living room. It’s on display under the Christmas tree now. The whole house is like a baby Steven shrine for sure,” he said.
When asked about the ordeal he’s been through, Flanagan said words can’t express it all.
“I could stand here all day and I could never tell you just how tough everything’s been. It’s absolutely monstrous. If it wasn’t for the Lord above and fine people to help me, I don’t think I ever would have made it. But as far as today, it was very difficult but I’m here in the first place to speak for my son because that’s my privilege. He was my dream since I was a boy, and we did everything together. We were pretty much inseparable. And he would ride on my shoulders, work with me in the wood shop. I hated going to work and couldn’t wait to come home. Not because I had bad jobs, but because I wanted to be with him and momma,” he said.
KDKA-TV’s Harold Hayes asked him what he would say to Sharon Flanagan if he had the chance.
“I’m not going to be ugly or nasty even though I’d have every right to do so. I’d just say, ‘Why?’ Because she had everything in the world. I mean we’re talking about an excellent marriage, beautiful child. She had everything and she had talents and abilities and I’d just say, ‘Why?’ That’s all I could think about saying because there was just no cause. There was no cause to run off and leave me and no cause for any of it from start to finish,” he said.
Months before the murder, he recalled a conversation in their West Virginia home.
“She had come up to our bedroom talking about killing herself and killing him, which is when I phoned the police and tried to get her committed for the second time and what I meant when I said nobody would listen is that finally, I got her to the point where the sheriff’s department took her in. There was an attorney, there was a mental health agency that reviewed her and they didn’t even bring her in before the judge. I mean they just let her go and that’s what broke my heart. Two weeks later, the court had given her partial custody and no matter what I did, after all she did, I had less custody of him than she did. Then, three-and-a-half months later she came up here and killed him,” he said.