TYLER, Texas (KETK) – A Tyler woman was sentenced to eight years in prison Friday morning after pleading guilty last week to leaving an infant in a bathroom closet alone for three hours.

Kelsey Frazier, 28, had decided last week to allow 241st District Judge Jack Skeen to decide her sentence after not agreeing to a plea deal with Smith County prosecutors. Frazier barely spoke during the hearing and did not show any reaction when the sentence was handed down.

Skeen weighed the evidence and testimony from multiple witnesses who were called during a three-and-a-half-hour hearing last week. Today, he called the case “extremely troubling” and that it was an “unjustifiable action” by Frazier.

He also spoke at length about how a high level of trust was broken by leaving the child in the closet when the parents were counting on her.

In October 2020, Frazier left 11-month-old Addison Duffey in her bathroom closet for more than three hours and was found by her father’s roommate, who lived below her.

Lead prosecutor Heath Chamness recommended 16 years in prison, just four years short of the maximum, while her defense attorneys requested 10 years of deferred probation.

She will have the right to appeal, but it was not immediately clear whether she will file one.

Addison’s mother Alyssa testified last week she had met Frazier just days after her daughter was born when she was in search of a lactation specialist. She said that Frazier became the baby’s eventual babysitter and that she “was so thankful for [Frazier]” and “really trusted her a lot.”

Shannon Smallwood, a co-worker of Frazier’s testified as a character witness on her behalf saying that she was “a precious, young woman and a very loyal friend.” She also spoke on Frazier’s health issues that include frequent blood clots that require shots and severe asthma.

Smallwood was pressed repeatedly by Chamness if she would be asking for probation for Frazier if her own child had been abandoned. She replied that “I would be horrified, but God is my life… I would forgive her for my own self.” Smallwood also said that she “doesn’t believe prison is the answer.”

Frazier’s father also testified through tears and that there was no excuse for her actions, saying “She is a very remorseful woman, she knows this is a life-changer.” He also told Skeen that if he would consider probation, she would have a job at his company immediately and would be kept away from children.

In final arguments, Chamness hammered on the seriousness of the crime and explained why he was asking for such a lengthy sentence for a first-time offender.

Do I think she’s a perpetual, long-term criminal? No, I don’t. But I think there are some offenses that are so egregious and there are so many aggravating factors that it simply doesn’t justify probation. And this is one of those cases.

HEATH CHAMNESS, PROSECUTOR FOR SMITH COUNTY