James Sargent and Tracey Hermann
This is Benjamin Sargent, the result of a joyful union between 23-year-old James Sargent and 21-year-old Tracey Hermann.
People You’ll See In Hell has a simple question for you, a question that James Sargent and Tracey Hermann answered for the world during the month of February, 2008.
How long can you ignore a screaming baby?
Some people have the ability to deal with the noise that a screaming baby calls forth from the pits of Hell for a longer period of time than others can.
Some people, those who are actually partially human, will actually get up and look at the baby to see what’s going on.
Those people typically want to find out why the baby is crying, so they can stop it.
They go through the usual checklist:
- Is the baby hungry?
- Is it thirsty?
- Is it wet?
- Is something eating the baby?
We here at People You’ll See In Hell know from experience that we can handle a crying baby for 42 minutes – precisely the amount of time it takes to drive from Omaha, Nebraska to Lincoln, Nebraska – pressing down on the gas pedal more and more as the crying continues.
After 42 minutes with a fed, dry, clean but cranky baby, we were ready to push our faces through a screen door. The more motherly of the van’s occupants attempted every ruse they knew to distract the baby, while the helpless males in the vehicle grit their teeth and thought happy thoughts.
Eight hours with a crying baby? Unthinkable.
Well, how about eight days?
On the 4th of February, 2008, at 9:30 at night, Rose Sargent dropped off her 5-month-old grandson, Benjamin Sargent, with his father, James Sargent.
According to Rose Sargent:
I left at 9:30 p.m. that night. I got him ready for bed, changed his diaper, put some ointment on his bottom and gave him a bottle. He wanted to be rocked so I rocked him, gave him some more bottle and then his dad put him into the crib without the car seat, and covered him up with a blanket. Then I left because I had to go home and get to sleep because I work third shift.
Rose Sargent might have some problems recognizing reality. She remembers Benjamin Sargent being a happy, laughing baby that would frequently reach out for her.
We would guess that, because Benjamin Sargent weighed just 10 pounds at the age of 5 months, he was laughing as he reached for her because he thought she might actually give him something to eat.
Yes, that’s right. A 5-month-old baby weighed all of 10 pounds and nobody really thought anything of it.
Benjamin Sargent’s mother, Tracey Hermann, wasn’t around when the baby was dropped off, and from statements she’s made to the police, even if she was there, she might not have noticed that the baby was back.
According to authorities, Tracey Hermann didn’t want Benjamin. Tracey Hermann wanted to give Benjamin up for adoption, and refused to do anything that mothers typically do with their children – taking no part in the feeding, bathing, or changing of Benjamin Sargent.
She didn’t play with him.
She didn’t talk with him.
She didn’t hold him.
That could be part of the reason why Benjamin Sargent gained only 2 pounds since birth.
Anyways, so there we have a painfully thin baby, strapped into a car seat that’s been placed on the floor in the living room. He was wearing a blue snow suit that his grandmother had bought him. He was probably hungry and tired. He probably cried, because that’s what babies do when they’re upset.
But nobody came to take care of Benjamin.
Oh, there was a person living in the garage that came into the house at one point and – thinking that it was weird that the baby was still sitting in the car seat in the middle of the living room floor – moved the baby (who was still in the car seat) into a back room, but that’s really the last time anyone did anything for the baby.
So Benjamin Sargent sat.
For eight days.
Eight days without food. Eight days without water. Eight days without being changed, or being held, or being talked to.
At five months, most babies can’t do anything other than cry. You have to wonder how long Benjamin Sargent cried. Was it a few hours before he gave up? He couldn’t have been very strong, after all, and crying is exhausting. Or did Benjamin Sargent cry for longer than that, off and on, hoping beyond hope that someone would come and take care of him, help him…save him?
James Sargent and Tracey Hermann were both at home. They played some video games. They watched some television. They ate, showered and slept. They probably changed their clothes a few times.
They went about their lives while their son, their helpless son, went about the long process of dying in the next room.
When police finally arrived, they found Benjamin strapped into his car seat, which had been placed into a crib. His little eyes were open. His little fists were clenched. The temperature of the room Benjamin was in was 80 degrees and he was still wearing the snow suit. It was obvious that he hadn’t been changed, as he was sitting in his own bodily wastes – and had been for some time.
There are times when we are very, very happy that we are not police officers.
James Sargent and Tracey Hermann were arrested.
Police interviewed James Sargent. James initially told the authorities that he had moved Benjamin a few times, but later admitted that maybe he hadn’t moved his son at all.
According to the interview with Tracey Hermann, she came into the baby’s room on the seventh night, the night before police were called. She told authorities that she looked at the baby, thought he was sleeping and left a bottle resting between the baby and the side of the car seat. Tracey Hermann said that she figured when Benjamin woke up, he could just grab the bottle and feed himself. She didn’t really much care, because she was heading out to Iowa that night to meet up with a guy she had met on the Internet. According to Tracey Hermann, Benjamin was not her problem, and that James Sargent should have taken care of the baby.
James Sargent and Tracey Hermann have been charged with first-degree murder. They could potentially be hit with prison terms of up to 100 years if they’re found guilty. The possibility of the death penalty is still on the table.
Both James Sargent and Tracey Hermann have pled not guilty.
During her court appearance, it was noted that Tracey Hermann seemed annoyed that she had to deal with this whole murder charge thing, which was the same attitude she displayed when police interviewed her.
While James Sargent and Tracey Hermann are eligible for the death penalty in Illinois, they will not receive it. State’s Attorney Kevin Lyons has announced that he will not seek a capital case against the pair. According to Kevin Lyons, he wants Hermann and Sargent to live out their lives in state prison for their crime.
Their trial date is scheduled for the 4th of August, 2008.
James Sargent and Tracey Hermann are now scheduled for a jury trial on the 17th of November, 2008.
Do James Sargent and Tracey Hermann deserve Hell?
- Yes - they both do (96%, 1,660 Votes)
- Add that dumbass ben to my answer (the guy who commented on 02/17/09) (8%, 143 Votes)
- Yes - but only Tracey Hermann (0%, 8 Votes)
- No - neither do (0%, 8 Votes)
- Yes - but only James Sargent (0%, 7 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,737
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