WMBD/WYZZ - PEORIA - A Peoria father, charged with murdering his 5 month old son tried unsuccessfully to get the charge reduced to involuntary manslaughter. James Sargent and the child's mother Tracy Hermann are both charged with the February 2008 murder of their five month old son, Benjamin Sargent. In arguing for the lesser charge Friday, a defense psychiatrist testified James Sargent suffers from bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder and Sargent was unaware of what was going on around him at the time of the child's death. Benjamin Sargent was found dead in his crib, seated in a car seat, dressed in a snowsuit in an 80 degree room. Prosecutors say the child apparently hadn't been moved or fed in eight days and died of starvation due to neglect by the parents. Peoria County State's Attorney Kevin Lyons says he won't seek the death penalty in the case if the pair is convicted.
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