The woman who admitted leaving her toddlers unattended, resulting in the death of her 18-month-old daughter, will be on probation for five years.
Kristen Hernandez, 24, pleaded guilty to counts of neglect of a dependent, a Class C felony, and child endangerment without injury, an aggravated misdemeanor, in June.
Monday afternoon, Judge Dale Ruigh granted both attorneys' recommendations for deferred judgement, which places Hernandez on probation in lieu of jail time.
"Deferred judgment offers the best option of making sure in the future you do not commit any criminal acts," Ruigh told Hernandez at the sentencing.
Police arrested Hernandez and her mother, Ruth Sharer, in November 2011 for leaving the two children alone. Police charged Sharer with two counts of child endangerment.
Sharer's trial has been moved from Thursday to Sept. 13.
Hernandez originally faced four charges, two counts of each child endangerment and neglect of a dependent, but the county attorney's office dropped two of the charges.
Both attorneys and the judge said the incident has ramifications other than its legal ones.
"This is obviously a tragic incident. There are several consequences Miss Hernandez is going to have to deal with for the rest of her life," Ruigh said.
Hernandez has no criminal history and has complied with all the mandates put forth by the Department of Human Services since the incident.
She is living on her own and DHS has returned custody of her two boys under its supervision, Hernandez told the court.
"We do not anticipate her having any more involvement in the criminal justice system," Hernandez's attorney, Aaron Siebrecht, a public defender, said.
Ruigh said he took those things, as well as her age and continued employment, into consideration when handing down the sentence. The probation requirement for the charges - two years for the child endangerment and five years for the neglect of a dependent - will run concurrent.
Also, he added, while Hernandez's actions were deplorable, they did not directly lead to the death of her child.
The details of Destiny's death were not disclosed in the courtroom and police records on this case have not been released. The state medical examiner's office completed the autopsy, but a call to that office was not returned by press time.
The court waved $750 and $1,000 fines imposed as part of the charges because of Hernandez's lack of ability to pay them upon the contingency that she complete all programs required of her by DHS.
Payments for court costs, reimbursement of the public defenders office and an enrollment fee for the Department of Corrections will still be Hernandez's responsibility. She will work out a payment plan for those costs.
Because she has pleaded guilty to a felony charge, Hernandez must also provide the state with a DNA sample.
Under the conditions of her probation, Hernandez must not only obey the law but must also inform her probation officer if she changes residences or jobs and complete any counseling or treatment mandated.
If she fails to comply with these or other conditions of her probation set forth by her probation officer, Hernandez could face jail time.
"Your future is indeed in your own hands," Ruigh told her.