updated 2/1/2007 2:23:58 PM ET 2007-02-01T19:23:58

A woman convicted of letting her three children drown in a car that sank in a lake was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in prison.

Amanda Hamm, 30, was convicted in December in the deaths of Christopher Hamm, 6, Austin Brown, 3, and Kyleigh Hamm, 1, who were trapped in the car in Clinton Lake in 2003. She was cleared of first-degree murder charges that would have sent her to prison for life.

Prosecutors allege Hamm and then-boyfriend Maurice LaGrone Jr. planned the deaths because the children were in the way of their relationship. Hamm and LaGrone, who was convicted of first-degree murder, have maintained the car accidentally rolled into the water as LaGrone tried to back up from a boat ramp.

Hamm had faced a sentence ranging from probation to 20 years.

Her mother, Ann Powers, said she was pleased with the sentence, while prosecutors were disappointed. The children’s father had said he wanted the maximum sentence imposed.

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