Dijanelle Fowler, 25, in court with attorney Charles Brant on a second-degree murder charge in the hot car death of her 1-year-old daughter, Skylar, on Aug. 3, 2017.
Photo: Bob Andres, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: Bob Andres, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Mom gets 15 years in prison for letting baby die in hot car

Dijanelle Fowler, the mother who left her 1-year-old daughter to die in a hot car while getting her hair done last June, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in DeKalb County on Wednesday. 

Despite appeals by the District Attorney’s office and family of the child’s father, the 25-year-old received a 20-year sentence with 15 years in prison for leaving the child in the car more than five hours. She will also receive credit for time served.  

“I’m not here to seek revenge,” Judge Linda Hunter said, looking toward the family of Skylar Fowler’s father. “A judge’s job is not to send a message.”


Previous coverage | ‘She baked my daughter’: Dad wants punishment for mom in hot-car death


Fowler accepted responsibility. “I will admit I made a poor decision, a decision that I cannot take back, a decision I will never make again,” she said before breaking down multiple times.

For more on today’s sentencing, the judge’s comments and Skylar’s father’s reaction visit myAJC.com.


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