A Waco mother of a 2-year-old boy who drowned in a family pool last year pleaded guilty Monday to injury to a child for her role in the incident.

Tiffany Watson, 22, pleaded guilty before 19th State District Judge Ralph Strother for the May 15, 2016, incident that led to the death of her son Bentley Watson. Prosecutors recommended that Watson be placed on deferred probation for 10 years, but Strother ordered a background check be completed on Watson before her sentencing, scheduled for Feb. 12.

Police were called to the 200 block of Tennessee Avenue in mid-May 2016 after Watson told police that she was asleep until about 9:45 a.m. When she woke up, she could not find her son and searched for him before calling police at 10:30 a.m.

At the home, police searched for the toddler and found a blanket on the pool’s diving board. Police noticed the water appeared to be disturbed, but because the pool’s water was cloudy, they did not immediately see the boy.

Officers used a pool skimmer to search the pool and found the boy. Emergency responders attempted life-saving measures before the boy was taken to Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Police continued to investigate the incident after the boy’s death. Tiffany Watson was arrested in April on a charge of injury to a child.

Russ Hunt, Tiffany Watson’s attorney, deferred comment until after Watson is sentenced.

Staff writer Tommy Witherspoon contributed to this report.

Kristin Hoppa has been covering public safety and breaking news for the Tribune-Herald since January 2016. She worked in Northwest Missouri covering crime-related issues before her move to Central Texas. She is a University of Kansas graduate.

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