Baby left for 8 days without food or water
Feb 22,2008 00:00 by UPI

PEORIA, Ill. - The parents of a 5-month-old who died after being left for days strapped in a car seat without food or water have been charged with first-degree murder.

A prosecutor said he might seek the death penalty for Tracy D. Hermann, 21, and James E. Sargent, 23, of Peoria, the Peoria Journal-Star reported.

"It's the worst case of child neglect we have seen since the turn of this century," State's Attorney Kevin Lyons said after Wednesday's bail hearing.

Lyons said the death of Benjamin Sargent had "rattled" him. Lyons said the parents simply left Benjamin in his crib, strapped in the seat, while they played video games, slept and ate.

The coroner who examined Benjamin said he weighed only 10 pounds -- two more than he weighed at birth five months earlier.

Hermann and Sargent have been ordered held without bail pending another hearing Friday.

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