GREENFIELD — A promise to get clean and better herself kept a Greenfield woman out of prison after she admitted to beating two young boys who found their Christmas presents and opened them early at her home.
Sascha Collins, 37, 93 S. County Road 500E, Greenfield, will spend three years on probation after pleading guilty to a single felony count of battery as part of an agreement with prosecutors.
The incident happened a week before Christmas, according to court records.
The victims told investigators the woman threw them into a wall and hit them with a belt when she woke up to find they’d unwrapped presents that had been hidden in her bedroom, according to court documents.
Collins was arrested and charged with two counts of battery, each as a Level 5 felony.
Wednesday, she appeared in Hancock County Superior Court 1 and pleaded guilty to one count of battery; the remaining count was dismissed as part of the agreement.
Collins was sentenced to serve three years on probation while attending counseling programs offered by the Indiana Department of Child Services, which she’s been enrolled in since her arrest.
She told a judge she is already seeking treatment for her alcohol and drug abuse, and she plans to continue that work while serving her sentence.
Deputy Prosecutor John Keiffner said he saw the progress Collins was making and, not wanting to hinder her, opted to pen an agreement that allows the woman to serve time out of police custody. Because Collins did not have a history of committing violent crimes, he decided that probation was the best option, he said.
But if Collins violates her probation, she will be sent to prison for the remainder of her three-year sentence, Keiffner said.
During an interview with police, Collins admitted to excessively spanking the boys but said she didn’t remember the details about what happened.
Collins said she woke up Sunday morning to find the house destroyed and repeatedly said she “just lost it,” telling investigators she knew she “went overboard,” charging documents state.
Police found red marks all over the children’s bodies, court documents state. The injuries were photographed as part of the investigation, but neither child needed medical attention, records state.
The boys, one of whom has a mental disability, told investigators Collins struck them in the face with a belt, slung them around the house and threw them into walls, court documents state. Both boys told police they were afraid to return to Collins’ home.
The victims’ teen sister told police Collins used drugs and alcohol in the hours before the incident, court documents state.
The teen told police Collins began drinking after she returned home from shopping late the night before and went to sleep around 5 a.m. the next morning after crushing half a painkiller and snorting it, according to court documents.
The teen said she left Collins’ home for about 45 minutes on the morning of the incident, and Collins was still asleep.
When the girl returned, she found her younger brothers screaming in pain, she told officers.
Collins told police she didn’t remember hitting the boys with a belt, but thought she used a plastic spoon, records state.
Collins told the judge Wednesday that she was proud to be 46 days sober and eager to continue working toward her goal of staying clean. She said she was willing to cooperate with any other counseling he or the state deemed necessary.