Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa mother whose baby drowned back in court, headed to mental hospital

TAMPA — Her baby boy drowned in a bathtub on Aug. 3, 2007. She'd left him in there with his 2-year-old sister and a running faucet, then got distracted in a conversation investigators said involved marijuana.

Katrina Lynn Brooks, 24, was sentenced to five years of probation last year for neglect, spared prison after a judge considered her young age and lack of a criminal record and heard her attorneys describe her sad life.

Now, after arrests for a probation violation and a felony drug charge, Brooks is again in state custody — this time, headed to a mental hospital.

Officers said they found her out past her probation's curfew in February, then found in her car, a straw and white powder residue she told them was "bath salts." The once-legal substance MDPV was banned by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi in January.

Circuit Judge Gregory Holder committed Brooks after a doctor found her incompetent to proceed with her cases. Her mental health was not discussed in court Thursday. Lawyers will review reports on her progress within six months.

At the sentencing for neglect in her baby's death, her attorneys described her as a "child raising children," a jobless high school dropout with no more than an eighth-grade education raising two kids alone.

They said she cried so hard over her dead son that she hyperventilated and fainted. She took parenting classes to become a better mother, but when her own mother died, she fell into depression that cost her the custody of her daughter.

The plan last year at her sentencing was for her to get a job, to get away from drugs and to find stability. Later that month, she was arrested for violating probation when the state Corrections Department said she'd moved without permission and failed to provide her new address.

On records for her curfew and drug arrest this year, she was listed as unemployed.

Alexandra Zayas can be reached at or (813) 226-3354.

Tampa mother whose baby drowned back in court, headed to mental hospital 03/24/11 [Last modified: Thursday, March 24, 2011 11:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa court hearing rescheduled for accused neo-Nazi jihadist killer


    TAMPA — Attorneys for Devon Arthurs, the alleged former neo-Nazi turned jihadist accused of shooting to death his two roommates, have asked to reschedule a court hearing that had been set for Wednesday morning.

  2. Parent of struggling DeVry University is changing its name to Adtalem


    Associated Press

    DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. — The company that owns one of the nation's largest for-profit college chains is changing its name.

    This 2009 photo shows the entrance to the DeVry University in Miramar, Fla. DeVry Education Group, which owns DeVry University, announced Wednesday that it will now be called Adtalem Global Education. 
[Associated Press file photo]

  3. NATO rolls out the red carpet, buffs its image for Trump


    BRUSSELS — NATO is not only rolling out the red carpet for U.S. President Donald Trump in Brussels Thursday, the military alliance — which Trump once declared obsolete — has been busy repackaging its image and is ready to unveil a new headquarters worth more than 1 billion euros.

    U.S. President Donald Trump and his wife Melania arrive at Fiumicino's Leonardo Da Vinci International airport, near Rome, Tuesday, May 23, 2017. Trump is in Italy for a two day visit, including a meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican, ahead of his participation in a NATO summit in Brussels on Thursday. [Associated Press]
  4. Taiwan becomes first in Asia to recognize same-sex marriage


    TAIPEI, Taiwan — In a first for Asia, Taiwan's Constitutional Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage on Wednesday, punctuating a yearslong campaign by advocates for gay rights in one of the continent's most liberal democracies.

    Same-sex marriage supporters wave rainbow Taiwan flags after the Constitutional Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage outside the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, Taiwan, Wednesday, May 24, 2017. Taiwan's Constitutional Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage on Wednesday, making the island the first place in Asia to recognize gay unions. [Associated Press]
  5. 'Top Gun' sequel? Tom Cruise says it starts filming soon


    Tom Cruise is once again feeling the need for speed.

    Tom Cruise starred in "Top Gun" in 1986, and said he'll begin work on a sequel within the next year.