EVANSTON (WNE) — A 23-year-old Bridger Valley woman has been sentenced to jail time for the 2013 death of her young daughter after changing her plea to no contest to the misdemeanor charge of criminally negligent homicide.
According to court documents, Sorena Sorensen was outside smoking heroin when her approximately 14-month-old daughter, Vada Bridge, wandered outside and drowned in a shallow nearby creek.
Sorensen was charged nearly five years after the incident after authorities were called with new information on events that took place on the date of her daughter’s death.
Sorensen had initially told investigators she had gone outside to smoke a cigarette on that day in Sept. 2013, claiming the child must have used a stool to get a back door open and get outside.
However, a recent follow-up investigation revealed Sorensen had told family members she was smoking heroin and had left the back door open, with only a screen door preventing the young girl from getting outside.
Sorensen appeared in Circuit Court on Wednesday, July 25, and changed her plea from not guilty to no contest.
Judge Michael Greer accepted the plea and the plea agreement reached between Uinta County Attorney Loretta Howieson and public defender Kent Brown.
Sorensen was sentenced to the maximum penalty of 365 days in jail and was given credit for 69 days served since her arrest.
When imposing the sentence, Greer said, “This case is very tragic. I don’t have to tell you that. It’s all because of drugs.”