AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - A judge set bond at $40,000 Friday morning for a mother charged with murder in the death of her 2-year-old son.
Katherine Mary Smith was originally charged with second-degree cruelty to children after her son, Mason Tucker Smith, died at Georgia Regents Children's Medical Center on Aug. 2.
The charge was upgraded to second-degree murder on Wednesday, according to the sheriff's office.
"I don't know, it's a tough decision being there, but I think I would've not given her the bond-you know," said parent Tammy Carpenter. "I would've let her stay there and think things through and give her some time while they think things through."
Smith told deputies, she sent her 2-year-old Mason to the corner for bad behavior. After hearing a thud, she returned to the room and found him laying on the floor. She says he has a syndrome that makes him hold his breath until he passes out. Investigators believe there's more to the story. Parents we spoke with think so too.
"It breaks my heart to think that any child would be abused - um, but in this situation the story seem to goes deeper," Carpenter said.
Prosecutors argued that smith would be a danger to the public or even a flight risk, asking the judge to deny bond, but he didn't agree.
"I think it was a fair ruling. She's not allowed to be around any children right now and you know, she's still going to get a court date and they're still going to go through the facts and try to find out what really happened and I don't see why it would be dangerous for her to be out until that happen," says parent Dawn Bantley.
If she posts bond, the judge says that she can't have contact with children under the age of 12.
Smith's next court date has not been set.