Mother pleads guilty in child's hot-car death, sentenced to prison

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — A mother who left her 1-year-old to die in a hot car while she got her hair done will go to prison for 15 years.

Dijanelle Fowler broke down in a DeKalb County court Wednesday as she pleaded guilty to 2nd degree murder.

“God blessed me to have a little girl, and that little girl became my everything," Fowler told the judge.

The 25-year-old began to sob as she told the judge about her regrets from the day Sklylar Fowler died.

Fowler left the child in the back of her car for more than 5 hours while she was at a hair appointment at this Tucker salon in June 2017.

The judge said she believed Fowler was a good mother who made a horrible mistake.

"This has been indicted as gross negligence. The state has never said this was an intentional killing," said Judge Linda Hunter

But the baby's father, Louis Williams, gave a different story. He told the court Fowler was a bad mom, who refused to take responsibility for the crime.


“To see a mother who showed very little remorse, who lied, so many times,” Williams said.

Fowler told the judge she understood that she deserved to be punished but she wanted the court, and the child's father's family to understand one thing.

"If I could trade my life right now to have her here, even just for a day, I would,” Fowler said. “And any person inside or outside this courtroom that tries to deny the love I had for my daughter did not know me and did not know the relationship that I had with her."