Pastor Defends Wife After Sentencing — (NBC 7 San Diego)

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NBC 7 San Diego

POSTED: 9:46 am PDT April 10, 2007

SAN DIEGO — A North County pastor defended his wife to NBC 7/39 in an exclusive interview after she is sentenced for two criminal counts.

Kristen Kaye Lawson was originally accused of trying to drown her 5-month-old and 6-year-old daughters in a bathtub at her Escondido home. She eventually pleaded guilty to two counts of child abuse. She faced seven years in prison but was Judge Daniel Goldstein sentenced the 31-year-old woman to five years probation.

After the sentencing, Lawson’s husband, Robert, spoke exclusively with NBC 7/39.

“I love my wife very much,” Lawson said.

Lawson is a pastor at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Escondido. He has stood by his wife’s side and supported her throughout the incident.

“If you’re asking me if I ever had any thoughts about divorcing her, no, never,” Lawson said.

Lawson said that he knows what he will tell anybody who thinks his wife should go to prison.

“Same thing Christ said to the woman accused of adultery: He who is without sin can throw the first stone,” said Lawson.

Lawson also said that his wife, Kristen, is a good mother who suffers from depression.

“Your honor, the actions I took on Oct. 5 toward my daughters were horrific and unexplainable,” Lawson said in court on Monday.

Prior to sentencing, Lawson told Goldstein that she suffers from depression and that she had not taken her medication the day she turned on her children. One by one, Lawson’s family and friends begged the Goldstein to not send her to prison, and Goldstein ultimately granted their wishes.

“I think if you had a record, I wouldn’t hesitate to send you to state prison,” Goldstein told Lawson in court.

Lawson’s probation has strict conditions, including continued treatment for her depression. For now, she can only see her children during supervised visits.

The Lawsons’ daughters suffered minor injuries during the incident. The couple also has a 5-year old-son who was not home during the attempted drownings.