Watervliet mom gets 7 years for assaulting baby

ALBANY — A shackled Samantha Valentine was sentenced for second degree assault.

She had first been charged with attempted murder.

Investigators say she violently threw her then-10-month-old son TJ across the room over a period of four days in 2021 at a home in Watervliet.

“Thankfully, and I say ‘only’ loosely, only resulted in subdural hematomas that he was able to recover from,” said prosecutor Ariel Fallon.

Some of the abuse was captured on a baby camera.

Valentine spoke to the court.

“My hope and concern is that my son TJ will continue to thrive, continue to be loved and cared for and live a happy, healthy life,” she said. “That is something I’ve wanted since before he was here. I fought and I struggled with infertility to even have him, so this is the last thing I ever saw myself doing. I do accept my actions. And it wasn’t until I saw what I did on that camera footage that I couldn’t believe it myself. It was horrific and it wasn’t me. It wasn’t the normal me. It was a monster.”

Valentine did not show up for sentencing twice before, and was arrested.

Her attorney said Valentine suffers from various mental and physical issues and is getting help, factors Judge Roger McDonough said had already been taken into consideration in allowing a possibility of this deal.

The judge sentenced her to the maximum under the agreement: seven years, with three years post-release supervision.

“Regardless of the explanation for your actions, there is no excuse for your actions, your terrible, terrible actions of attacking your own child and then attempting to deceive the police and point towards others as being responsible for those injuries prior to the discovery of video which proved that you were the individual who attacked your own child,” said Judge McDonough.

The judge issued an order of protection for the now two-year-old boy that expires in the year 2040. That means Valentine is barred from any contact with her own son for the next 17 years.