Arrow-right Camera
News >  Spokane

Mother admits killing 4-year-old son

PORTLAND – A woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to killing her 4-year-old son and trying to kill her 7-year-old daughter after the children plunged off a bridge into a frigid Oregon river last year.

Under terms of the plea bargain, Amanda Stott-Smith, 32, will avoid the death penalty and spend at least 35 years in prison.

Stott-Smith gave one-word answers to questions from the judge and showed little emotion during the hearing.

The father of the children, Jason Smith, was in the courtroom but made no comment. Prosecutor John Casalino said Smith had approved of the plea arrangement.

Sentencing is scheduled for April 22.

The children fell 75 feet from the Sellwood Bridge into the Willamette River shortly after midnight on May 23.

A couple from one of the two-story floating houses along the river heard cries and fetched the two children into a boat, but the boy was dead.

Stott-Smith and Jason Smith separated in 2008. In April 2009, Jason Smith was granted custody of the children. On the night the boy died, Stott-Smith had them as part of her visitation rights.