Mom of victim, suspect's mother enter plea deals in death of 4-year-old

Mom of victim, suspect's mother enter plea deals in death of 4-year-old

BUTLER, Pa. — A mother charged in connection with the death of her 4-year-old son agreed to a plea bargain in Butler County on Thursday.

Mackenzie Peters, charged with felony child endangerment, was sentenced to 36 months’ probation for her involvement in the March 2017 death of Bentley Miller.

Keith Jordan Lambing, Peters’ boyfriend, is charged with criminal homicide in Miller’s death.

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According to police, Lambing sexually assaulted Miller, inflicting injuries that caused the boy’s death several days later. Police found a burn mark on the boy's hand, which police believe was from an iron. Investigators said Peters knew about the burn, but did not seek medical treatment.

Kristen Herold, facing a charge of child endangerment, also made a plea deal and was sentenced to 18 to 60 months in jail. Police said Herold, Lambing’s mother, picked up Miller right after the assault and did not take him to the hospital.

“People, when they’re put in moments of crisis, act in all different ways,” said Al Lindsay, Herold’s attorney. “We like to think we would act heroically, but more often than not, we don’t. And she had to live with her decision. She made a decision to enter this plea of ‘guilty’ and accept the consequences.”

Sabrina Velez, Miller's paternal grandmother, attended the hearing and addressed both women in a statement, saying, “You, as a mother, should have known something was wrong. You have destroyed our family. I will never forgive you for this.”