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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – An Oklahoma mother was sentenced Friday for her role in the death of her 2-year-old son.

Rebecca Hogue will serve just 13 months in prison despite facing a life sentence for first-degree murder.

Prosecutors say Hogue failed to protect her 2-year-old son, Jeremiah “Ryder” Johnson, from her boyfriend, Christopher Trent, who was caring for the child when he suffered those fatal injuries in January of 2020. 

Rebecca Hogue mugshot

Hogue asked Judge Michael Tupper for a lenient sentence.

“Ryder was my entire existence; without my child my world have been torn apart. I would have done anything to prevent the abuse that happened,” she said during sentencing. “I do not want to die in a jail cell.”

Tupper sentenced Hogue to 16 months in prison with three months time served. Hogue has been in jail since November.

“You are not a monster, you have value,” Tupper said as he handed down Hogue’s sentence. “Years is not a proportional punishment, months is more just. Each month is going to be representative of a year that you would have been legally responsible for Ryder.”

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Jeremiah Ryder Johnson

Hogue’s attorney, Anthony Casey, said the judge made a thoughtful decision.

“The thing I see more often than not is exactly what he said he didn’t want to do, which is a rubber stamp, because it’s much easier for a judge – especially an elected official who relies on folks and coming out to the voting booth later – it’s much easier for them to say, ‘Well, the jury said, “We’re doing this,” and by God, that’s what we’re doing,'” Casey said. “And he looked at every single aspect. He evaluated that pre-sentence investigation and evaluated all the evidence before him and evaluated every part of the case. And he made factors that were right when it came to sentencing and justice.”

Deanna Craig, Hogue’s aunt, is thankful for the outcome.

“I think the judge spoke very eloquently. I think he explained very well how he came to his decision. And yeah, Rebecca didn’t deserve to be here to begin with, but this outcome is better than we expected, and we think the judge did a great job in coming to his decision,” Craig said.

Christopher Trent

Trent, who mortally injured Ryder, was the subject of a manhunt following the child’s death but was found dead at the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge. He hanged himself before he could face charges. 

Prosecutors argued Hogue didn’t kill Jeremiah, but she knew it was happening and reportedly did nothing to stop it.

However, the defense argues that Hogue had no idea abuse was happening.

Hogue was convicted of first-degree murder in Nov. 2021, under Oklahoma’s “Failure to Protect” law.

Jurors recommended life with the possibility of parole, a sentence Tupper changed on Friday.

Hogue will also have to complete 1,000 hours of community service and undergo a psyche evaluation.