A North Carolina mother has pleaded guilty to the stabbing death of her 5-year old daughter in 2021.
Penny Short Hartle (51), pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree murder and was sentenced to a minimum 13 years and maximum 17 years prison for the death her daughter Caroline Rose, WTVC TV reported.
On April 21st, Henderson County Sheriff’s Office officers responded to a report of a stabbing incident involving children. Wayne Cagle, a 5-year-old boy, told officers that his daughter had been stabbed in her chest.
“How could she do that?” Cagle stated that he tried CPR on the child.
Cagle answered officers’ questions about his mother when he said that he meant “Her mom.”
Officers responded to Cagle’s 911 call shortly before dispatched officers to a nearby house to investigate a 911 report about an unidentified woman found in her bed. Hartle was later identified as the woman.
Hartle had already left the house and gone to a nearby truck unlocked by officers when they arrived at the scene.
According to the police report Hartle appeared shaken and mumbling when they first met in the truck.
Later, Cagle stated that Hartle was his girlfriend for five years. He also said that Hartle had not seen him the whole night and that they had never slept in the exact same bed in years. He stated that Hartle was disabled and suffered from mental problems. She had not been taking her medication.
Hartle was reportedly suffering from mental illness at the time she was arrested. A judge declared Hartle incompetent to stand trial and ordered Hartle to undergo treatment. After several months of treatment, it was discovered that Hartle’s condition had improved. She was then able to stand trial.
Hartle was loved by many family members and would not have hurt her daughter if she were in the right mental state. Hartle was allowed to plead guilty to a lesser charge of second-degree murder.