27, 2007 - February 12, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial
August 27, 2007, Benjamin Allen Reeve Sargent would be
a child who was not wanted by his mother and not cared
about enough to be taken care of by his father or
mother when he needed them the most.
is it possible that in this day and age where
unwanted children can just be given over to
hospitals, there are still children out there who
die at the hands of he people God has trusted
to take care of the most innocent of all people
among us? What kind of evil does it take to allow a
child, a five month old baby to sit in a car seat,
in his crib for eight days until that child
literally dies of starvation? What kind of evil does
it take to allow a five month old to cry for long periods of
time and not tend to his needs?
What kind of evil does
it take to feed yourself, play video
games, shower and go about your day and
ignore a five month old baby who needs
just the basic things in life to survive?
A little bit of attention to this
beautiful little boy was all that was
needed. Benjamin got little to nothing
from his mother, who never wanted him in
the first place so she never showed any
signs of being a mother at all. Benjamin
got nothing from his father either. Both
of these people failed to give Benjamin an
chance in life. If a person doesn't want a
child, there are ways to prevent one from
being born. Not wanting a
child is not an excuse for abusing or
neglecting a child.
On February 4, 2008, in
Peoria, Illinois, Rose Sargent was taking
care of her five month old grandson,
Benjamin Sargent. Rose dropped Benjamin
off with his father at about 9:30 pm so
that she could go to work:
"I left at 9:30 p.m. that
night. I got him ready for bed, changed his
diaper, put some ointment on
his bottom and gave him a bottle. He wanted to
be rocked so I rocked him, gave him some more
bottle and then his dad put him into the crib
without the car seat, and covered him up with
Then I left because I had to go home and get
to sleep because I work third shift."
"mother", I use that term lightly, was in Iowa
meeting a man she met on the internet. She claimed
that she was not responsible for Benjamin and that
his father should have been looking out for him.
Tracey claimed that before she left she had checked
on Benjamin and she found him asleep so she put a
bottle between him and the car seat so he could eat
when he woke up.
days later, on February 12, Benjamin would be found
in his crib, still strapped into the car seat,
wearing his snow suit, eyes open, fists clenched,
sitting in his own waste in a room that was 80
degrees. James Sargent, who was 23 at the time and
Tracey Hermann, who was 21 at the time,
were both arrested.
“Benjamin died from
starvation due to neglect from these two
defendants, his parents. It’s the
worst case of child neglect we have seen since
the turn of this century.”
Kevin Lyons, Peoria County
and Tracey are being held on first degree murder
charges, without bond. Why should they be bonded
out? Their child was neglected to death and put
through total agony before he died. Benjamin, who
weighed eight pounds at birth, only weighed ten
pounds upon his death. Why didn't his grandmother
notice that he was thin, why didn't anyone who came
into contact with his baby boy notice that
something was not right?
to the death with shock and horror. Some said they
were aware that things were not right in the
household, they just didn't know it was as bad as it
was. If they knew something was not right, whey
didn't they contact anyone? Why is that SO many
people have the ability to help in situations like
this and they NEVER do?
"The parents had been
acting really strange for about a few days
before. They were outside and
they were walking up and
down the neighborhood, the woman was standing
outside with no coat,"
Dorothy Davis - Neighbor
say they didn't even know that a baby lived in the
house and some wonder what they grandparents are
thinking about all of this and how they are feeling
at the loss of Benjamin:
"I think if one of my kids
would be this evil, because that's what it is
how, would I feel and I
wonder how do those parents
Mary Moore - Neighbor who
didn't know Benjamin lived there
grandfather of James Sargent said that he thought
his grandson had truly love his son. When speaking
to his grandson, he says that James was crying and
he didn't know if they were tears of remorse or of
self pity. The grandfather says that he is shocked
by what has happened.
Sargent was picking up flower arrangements left over
after the funeral service for Benjamin. She said
that James and Tracey had been fighting a lot, but,
she thought they were taking care of the baby. She
said that the two had seemed like good parents:
"I saw my son sing to him,
play with him. I've seen her holding him
and playing with him."
also spoke of that last day:
"I took him and I bought
him a snowsuit and I bought him some food and
some formula and
some A&D ointment
because he had a little rash. I don't
know what happened when I left.
He was in his bed, not his
spoke of a dark side she felt her adopted son had:
"He suffered from
depression since he was a freshman in high
school. They diagnosed him
with ADHD and bi–polar and
he has spent time at Zellar (Mental Health
when they had it."
said that the couple would allow trash to pile up
outside of their home and they can't believe they
would neglect their child as well:
"Who would do it, who
would let their child just live like that"
couple also has a three year old daughter, Natalie
Grace, who has been removed from the custody of the
family and is currently in foster care.
old online post from Tracey said that she would
prefer to die stating she would like her death
certificate to read, "death by misadventure." Rose
says that unfortunately, that is the fate her
"I'm going to miss the
smiles and laughs".
2008 brought a court date where both of these people
were facing up to 100 years. Kevin Lyons was not
sure if he was going to ask for the death penalty,
which would apply in this case. In Illinois the
death penalty can be used as punishment for crimes
committed by those over the age of 17 and crimes
committed against those younger than the age of 12.
Kevin Lyons would have about two months to make this
hearing lasted about 20 minutes and during that
time, James sat with a blank stare on his face and
Tracey said that her lawyer was in Hawaii and she
would like a court appointed lawyer. Judge Glenn
Collier ordered that the two be held without bond. A
second court date was set to allow Kevin Lyons to
present further evidence that these two people
should not be let out on bond, before trial.
two people had the nerve to plead not guilty to the
charges against them. They will be in court on May
buried in the Parkview Cemetery in Peoria County,
James Sargent found
guilty of first degree murder in death of his
April 29, 2009
acted in a heinous and brutal way when he failed to
care for his 5-month-old son last year, failing to
bathe, change or feed him; actions that ultimately
resulted in the boy's death, a judge ruled
a 10-minute break after the conclusion of the
three-day trial, Peoria County Judge James Shadid
found Sargent, 24, guilty of first-degree murder.
Additionally, the judge rejected any notion that
Sargent acted recklessly or was in over his head
when he was caring for Benjamin Sargent.
the South Peoria man's actions from Feb. 4 to Feb.
12, 2008, were "brutal and heinous . . . indicative
of wanton cruelty;" legal factors which mean he
faces up to 100 years when sentenced June 25. He
would have to serve 100 percent of any sentence
imposed with credit for time already served, about
had put his son into his car and sped down toward
the mall at a high rate of speed, and crashed, that
would be reckless," Shadid said. "In this case, you
put (Benjamin) into a car seat and left him without
care for eight days. That's not reckless."
50 Years For Baby's Death
September 14, 2009
admitted in a barely audible tone Monday she made a
disastrous "mistake" last year when she and her
former boyfriend allowed their 5-month-old son to go
without food and sit in his own waste for several
days, which eventually caused his death.
of 3012 W. Proctor St. apologized to everyone in the
courtroom, saying she believed that her plea to
first-degree murder and subsequent sentence of 50
years would allow her son, Benjamin, to finally have
little during the unscheduled plea hearing, speaking
mostly from a prepared statement after Peoria County
Circuit Judge James Shadid had passed sentence.
Hermann will have to serve 100 percent of her
sentence, meaning that with about a year and a half
spent awaiting trial, she will get out of prison
when she's 72.
in the courtroom, save the parties involved,
Hermann's parents and reporters. The hearing lasted
only about 25 minutes and lacked the shock and the
gruesome testimony that occurred in April when the
infant's father, James Sargent, was found guilty
after weeklong bench trial.
was sentenced to 100 years in prison, the maximum,
for his son's death.
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