A Danbury woman who drowned her newborn daughter in a toilet in 2006 will be released from prison on Sept. 30, eight years early, after the state's parole board commuted her sentence on Wednesday.
Panna Krom, who is now 26 years old, went before the parole board at the York women's prison to ask the members to reduce her 18-year prison sentence and her request was granted.
"It's no fun being called a baby killer. You want to change your name, disappear and move on with your life," Krom said. "I am so sorry for being an irresponsible mother. Accept my sorrow and accept my pledge to work in your memory."
More than two dozen family members were there for the commutation.
"I can't even describe it. I can't even describe it," Krom's mother, Chan Prum, said. "This is the day that I've waiting for forever. It seems like forever for me just to hear that my daughter's coming home."
Prosecutors said Krom, who was then a 17-year-old senior at Danbury High School, hid her pregnancy, delivered the baby in a bathroom of her parents' home in December 2006, then drowned her in a toilet. Krom's mother found the baby in a closet, officials said.
In 2008, Krom reached a plea deal for an 18-year sentence, pleading guilty to manslaughter to avoid a possible life sentence.
Krom's lawyer, Vicki Hutchinson, said her client was afraid because her parents, who are from Cambodia, disapprove of premarital sex.
Hutchinson said Krom is rehabilitated and she is a model prisoner who earned her high school diploma, mentors younger prisoners and speaks to visiting high school students.
Hutchinson said other people who committed similar crimes received far less prison time.
Krom said she plans on helping other young women who are in need of help during their pregnancy.