By NBC Dallas/Ft. Worth
A Dallas woman who tried to drown her two young daughters after the girls pleaded for snacks was stopped by her 18-year-old son, who grabbed his drenched sisters and carried them from the apartment, police say.
Sonya Ann Gardner, 35, is jailed on a $1 million bond on two counts of attempted capital murder of a child, according to police records. No attorney has been listed for her.
Neighbors told officers that her son, Jydesmon Gardner, was walking by the apartment in the 3300 block of Southern Oaks Thursday night when he heard screams.
A police affidavit says Gardner forced his way into the apartment, where he found his mother trying to drown his two sisters in a bathtub.
Police say witnesses told them the son fired a warning gunshot, grabbed his dripping 4-year-old sister and carried her from the apartment.
When he went back to get his 6-year-old sister, the front door was locked, so he kicked it in, witnesses told police. He then grabbed the other girl and ran from the apartment.
Gardner told police that she had smoked marijuana laced with PCP earlier in the evening, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.
"We were fixing to die," the 6-year-old told officers according to the affidavit, adding that her mother tried to "drown us in the bath."
Both young children stayed with neighbors until police arrived and were placed in the custody of Child Protective Services.
Jydesmon Gardner left the scene before officers arrived because of an outstanding parole violation warrant in an unrelated case, police said.
"It appears that his actions may have saved the lives of these two children," police Maj. Rob Sherwin told reporters and appealed for him to turn himself in for questioning as a witness.
Family members told NBC 5 Sonya Gardner is a great mother raising four kids on her own.
"I think everything that they charged her with is wrong, if anybody knew my cousin they would know that Sonya don't do no type of stuff like this at all," said Gardner's cousin Rayniesha Isaac. "She loves them girls with everything, they don't have to cry or want for anything."
Child Protective Services confirms Gardner has no history with the agency.
The family blames tainted marijuana for Gardner's violent behavior.
"I feel like somebody laced her with some bad stuff and people do things like that because they're just sick in the head," said Lolita Isaac.
Family members said she had gone to Baylor Medical Center for treatment, but after waiting in the emergency room for several hours left without receiving any medical attention.
"They did take her to the hospital she was not able to be seen because it was packed and I just feel like had she stayed a little longer she would have got the help and none of this would have ever happened," said Gardner's cousin Lolita Isaac.
Court records show Gardner has only one arrest, 14 years ago, for marijuana possession.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
First published May 24 2014, 8:10 AM