An Addison mother who stabbed her 3-year-old son in the neck "so they could die together" was sentenced Monday to seven years in prison.
Sameera Samreen, 30, pleaded guilty in February to one count of aggravated battery of a child in exchange for prosecutors capping their sentence recommendation at 15 years. She is also required to register for 10 years as someone who has committed violence against a youth.
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Judge Blanche Hill Fawell imposed the sentence, saying the young boy -- who survived and is now living with a relative -- is likely to suffer from the effects of that violent night for the rest of his life.
"As a mom, it is impossible to understand how this happened. It's inexplicable," Fawell told Samreen. "It sounds like you were a great mom before this and then you slit his throat."
Samreen stabbed her son with a 7-inch kitchen knife on March 31, 2012, the same weekend her ex-husband remarried.
Prosecutors said she prayed before cutting her own neck and wrist then turning the knife on the boy.
"How a mother can put her young son on her lap and cut into his neck is beyond comprehension," Assistant State's Attorney Louisa Nuckolls said. "This is a case about protecting a young, innocent child."
Nuckolls said Samreen panicked when the child screamed and began applying pressure to his neck.
Addison Police Detective Anthony Reda testified that on three separate occasions Samreen told police that two masked men had broken into her home through a third-story balcony and stabbed her and the child.
When confronted with the fact that the boy told police "My mommy cut me," Samreen eventually confessed she was "depressed" and wanted to "die together" with her son, Reda said.
The boy, now with his paternal grandmother, survived the 5-centimeter cut, which transected his jugular vein and required internal and external stitches.
Despite the violence, the boy's father, Mohammed Kaleemudden, read a victim impact statement in which he said the bond between his son and Samreen is stronger than ever and pleaded with Fawell to have sympathy and mercy when sentencing his ex-wife.
"My son loves his mom a lot. He is so happy on the days he gets to see his mother," Kaleemudden said. "This was an isolated incident. I trust (Samreen) completely and feel she should be given sympathy."
Two psychologists and a psychiatrist testified that Samreen was diagnosed with major depression with psychotic features but that her condition has stabilized, in part to medication and intensive therapy. The depression, they said, was caused by Samreen feeling lonely and afraid after divorcing her physically and emotionally abusive husband and being forced to live on her own for the first time in her life.
Outside court, Kaleemudden declined to comment on the abuse allegations, saying he was instead focused on how to tell his son that he wouldn't see his mother for seven years.
"I don't know how I'm going to tell him, He'll be devastated," he said. "I don't know how he's going to handle this."
Samreen is required to serve 85 percent of the sentence, or just less than six years, before being eligible for the three years of parole that follow the sentence.