A Polk County teenager won't spend the rest of her life in prison for killing her newborn and hiding him in a shoe box. A Polk County Grand Jury previously indicted Cassidy Goodson, 15, on adult charges of first degree murder and aggravated child abuse. Under a plea deal signed Wednesday, the teen will be sanctioned as a juvenile instead.
"Miss Goodson is relatively unsophisticated and very immature according to the doctors and their reports," said Judge Donald Jacobsen.
Goodson pleaded "no contest" to killing the 9.5 pound boy. The State Attorney's Office agreed to reduce her first degree murder charge to manslaughter under the plea deal. The aggravated child abuse charge was dropped.
" We want to wish her good luck," Assistant State Attorney John Aguero said in court Wednesday.
Judge Jacobsen called her crime "horrible", but said Goodson has potential to turn her life around.
"Everybody cared about a young girl who had never been in any trouble before in her life and has a tremendous amount of potential," said public defender Howardene Garrett.
Goodson will be transferred from the Polk County jail to a juvenile facility where she will serve at least 18-months. She'll then return before Judge Jacobsen. He will decide, at that time, if she should serve more time or go home on probation.
"You're gonna take out of this what you put into it," said Jacobsen. "It's going to be totally up to you."
Under the terms of the plea deal, Goodson could still face 15 years in prison if she gets in trouble with the law again before she turns 21.
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