Angela Blackwell, a South Carolina woman, was charged for the death of her 4-day-old son, William Lewis, Monday, Fox News is reporting. The 27-year-old mother was arrested after putting her newborn son in a refrigerator at her home in Chester, South Carolina, February 27.
Angela Blackwell left the baby there for three hours, before bringing him out and calling 911. She was arrested by police six months after the baby died. Investigators say the investigation took so long because they needed to conduct extensive interviews, take statements, and carry out forensic tests on the baby.
Paramedics who showed up at Blackwell’s residence administered CPR on the young child, but he was pronounced dead, soon after at a nearby hospital. According to a medical report, William Lewis had died of asphyxiation and hypothermia facilitated by the cold condition of the refrigerator.
A magistrate judge at a hearing Tuesday charged Angela Blackwell with homicide by child abuse and denied her bond. She was represented in court by a public defender and is due for another court date November 10.
During the court appearance, the judge said because of the seriousness of the charges, no bond could be set at the initial hearing which was in accordance with state law. Angela remained silent throughout the courtroom proceedings.
A Facebook profile belonging to the South Carolina woman under the moniker “Angel Blackwell” revealed photos of her with the newborn just 24 hours after his birth.
In one of the pictures, the mother did not look particularly happy over her new bundle of joy. She stares sadly back at the camera, cuddling William Lewis in her arms. Her partner, Jeff Lewis, 35, and 3-year-old son are with her in the hospital.
A teary-eyed Lewis, who called his wife a “good mom,” said he could not fathom any reason why she would want to hurt the child. Their 3-year-old-son has been taken into protective custody by the Department of Social Services.
If Angela Blackwell is convicted, she could spend the rest of her life in prison.
Jeff Lewis has a lengthy criminal record, having convictions for shoplifting and petty larceny, dating as far back as 2005. According to Corrections Department officials, he spent over two years in a prison cell after violating his parole.
He has not been arraigned on charges of killing his son.
The South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division is helping the Sheriff’s Office in the investigation. Spokesman Thom Berry confirmed the cooperation of both parties in the shocking murder of William Lewis.
“We have authority to investigate all child deaths in the state under our child fatality unit. We came in and assisted the Sheriff’s office. They had already begun an investigation, so we worked with them.”
Both parties are yet to determine the motive behind the death of the baby boy.
The baby’s grandfather, Billy Lewis, had told reporters that he did not think Angela Blackwell killed her child. He said that she was a bit depressed before the time of birth, but soon cheered up when William Lewis was born.
Lewis insisted that she had nothing to do with William’s death, but gave no explanation of how the child ended up in a refrigerator, “She didn’t do it. We don’t know who did it.” Jeff Lewis shared the same view as his father, saying that there were other people besides Angela in the house that fateful day.
Neighbors say the Blackwells nearly lost their home recently because their yard was a mess. They said children’s toys were strewn everywhere, alongside a white hearse and rusty-looking car without an engine that had seen better days. Neighbors say the house stood out like a sore thumb in the area, but no one really was friendly with the occupants of the house.
[Photo by Chester County Detention Center/AP Images]