Mom Who Served Time for Letting Her 3 Kids Drown Fights to Keep Her New Kids

CourtroomIt's beyond imaginable why parents would ever want to harm their children, but sadly, it happens. You might remember the name Amanda Hamm, who, in 2003, helped drive her three young children into an Illinois lake with her then-boyfriend Maurice LaGrone Jr. Serving five years in prison for child endangerment, Amanda, now Amanda Ware, is fighting for custody of her three kids with her new husband, Leo Ware.


Amanda's now-deceased 6-year-old, 3-year-old, and 23-month-old had their lives taken because Amanda and her ex-boyfriend Maurice allegedly wanted to enjoy a life of sex and drugs -- free of any interference. Just the thought of these precious children screaming as their own mother helped drive them into Clinton Lake before ditching the car is enough to make anyone's blood boil. It's heartbreaking and extremely cruel.

Since her five-year prison sentence (Maurice is serving a life sentence for first-degree murder), Amanda met and married Leo Ware, a former drug dealer who admits his troubled past. The two are parents to three children (ages 5, 3, and almost 2), whom Amanda had after she was released from prison. After Amanda flew under the radar for many years, child services took her kids away in 2014, after a doctor realized Amanda Ware was once Amanda Hamm.

More from The Stir: Dad Drives Family of 5 Into Lake in Suspected Murder-Suicide (VIDEO)

As fate would have it, Amanda must go before an Illinois judge to try to regain custody of her children. Under "anticipatory neglect," the judge wouldn't have to wait for something bad to happen before making the decision to keep the children out of a potentially harmful, and deadly, home situation (in the same breath, parents with a tainted past can try to prove they're capable of raising children).

As I sit here in silence, all I can think about are sins of the past, and whether or not a person, any person for that matter, deserves a second chance at life. Drug addiction and mental illness are very real problems (Amanda says she suffers from depression, and has battled drug and alcohol abuse) that affect so many families. Some have been able to find healing, while others continue to deal with great tragedy. As hard as I try to think about the other side of the coin in this story, I, for the life of me, cannot get her three children whom she killed out of my mind -- and the fact that such a crime only received a five-year sentence.

Yes, Leo Ware in many respects shouldn't have to pay for a crime he didn't commit ... but didn't this potential "what if" scenario cross his mind when he decided to marry Amanda -- and didn't he possibly question whether any children they had would be okay?

More from The Stir: Stepmom Accused of Staging Videos to Cover Up 5-Year-Old's Suspicious Injuries

While time has certainly passed since Amanda and Leo started their family (their eldest is 5), it hasn't been without issue. In 2012, Amanda contacted Chicago police and wanted a protective order, after an alleged domestic dispute at the hands of Leo that possibly involved drugs.

As great as it would be for families to stay together, sometimes people hurt the ones they love most, in extremely terrible and unthinkable ways.

I would hate for Amanda and Leo's children to suffer, as there are tons of loving people who would give anything to have a family. All I can do is hope the justice system makes the right call that will put the best interests of these children over the wants of the parents.



Image via corgarashu /shutterstock

Read More >