Stepmom pleads guilty for 11-year-old’s ‘forced water intoxication’ death in El Paso County

A woman pleaded guilty to a charge of criminally negligent homicide for the death of her 11-year-old stepson in El Paso County.
Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 3:07 PM MDT|Updated: Aug. 10, 2022 at 5:10 AM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - A woman pleaded guilty to a charge of criminally negligent homicide for the death of her 11-year-old stepson in El Paso County.

Tara Sabin entered the plea on Tuesday. She was originally facing a charge of 1st-degree murder for the death of Zachary Sabin. Zachary passed away in March of 2020 as a result of “forced water intoxication,” according to the finding by the El Paso County Coroner’s Office. The coroner’s report says Zachary was forced to drink four 24-ounce bottles of water over four hours without food. He reportedly began vomiting and was found dead in his bed with oral foam. The coroner reports he also had blunt force trauma.

According to arrest papers, the boy’s father told investigators he was supposed to drink water due to his “bedwetting issue.” His father was identified as Ryan Sabin. Tara told authorities they made him drink water because his urine was “really dark and really smelly,” and that he wore a diaper at night because of hereditary medical problems. She said her husband required Zachary to drink at least two 32-ounce bottles a day. At one point on the night of March 10, 2020, Zachary fell to the ground and hit his head, according to arrest papers. Ryan told authorities he put his son to bed at about 11:15 p.m. He said he found him the next morning with foam coming from his mouth and blood on his bed. Ryan called 911 at about 6:15 a.m., but it was too late to help Zachary.

Tara was sentenced to four years of probation.

Ryan is still facing a charge of first-degree murder as his arraignment was pushed out two weeks.

Zachary’s mom spoke publicly about his death in 2020:

Zachary died from "forced water intoxication." His stepmom and father are facing charges. This was filmed in 2020.

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