A South Carolina woman who allegedly put her 4-day-old son in a refrigerator and shut the door has posted bond and is out of jail in time to spend Christmas with her family.
Angela Blackwell, 27, faces a charge of homicide by child abuse in connection with the death of her son who was allegedly left in the refrigerator for about three hours in late February and suffered hypothermia according to prosecutors.
The suspect was arrested in August after a lengthy police investigation.
Allegedly, there were multiple adults in the home when the baby was allegedly put in the refrigerator. Blackwell apparently called 911 after she removed her son from the fridge.
First responders with Chester County Emergency Medical Services performed CPR at the scene, but tragically the baby was later pronounced dead at a local hospital where he had been rushed, the Daily Mail noted.
"When [the baby] arrived at the hospital he was unresponsive. His temperature had dropped so low it couldn't even be measured. 'There was some breathing and jerk movements, but attempts to revive were futile,'" a prosecutor told the judge at Thursday's hearing, The News & Reporter recalled.
Blackwell and her husband are apparently both on disability.
"William David Paul Lewis died from 'hypothermia with asphyxiation due to being in a refrigerator,' according to Chester County Coroner Terry Tinker," NBC affiliate WYFF detailed about the tragedy.At a bond hearing yesterday, a judge set the personal recognizance bond at $25,000. Blackwell posted the bond this morning and she was released, subject to a house arrest order.
Blackwell's lawyers told the judge that she was indigent and not a flight risk (i.e., a court defendant likely to skip town before a trial starts) because the Chester, South Carolina, resident never attempted to leave the jurisdiction during the six-month police investigation, although prosecutors raised the possibility that she was a risk to herself, the New York Daily News noted."Attorneys say the defendant has the mental capacity of a fourth-grader. Her baby died in February after three hours in a refrigerator, and police say she confessed in a police re-enactment. Blackwell was silent during the 30-minute bond hearing, but she wept often. She cried as her husband said, 'She's a good momma,'" the Herald reported.
In the video below, the woman's husband added that he doesn't believe that she did it.
The couple have another child, age 3, who is now in the care of the South Carolina Department of Social Services.
If convicted on the pending charge, Blackwell could face a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Under South Carolina law, a person commits homicide by child abuse if he or she "causes the death of a child under the age of eleven while committing child abuse or neglect, and the death occurs under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to human life..."
Prosecutors insist that despite the suspect's documented "special needs," which was evidently determined after a court-ordered mental evaluation, she is competent to stand trial, Charlotte's WBTV explained. The husband was not charged in the incident.According to a family friend, "Angie don't have a violent bone in her, and as far as leaving – if this child got out, it would just mean Christmas to her. It wouldn't mean that she would go nowhere. She'll be around people that love her and that will be there for her," MyFox8 quoted the family friend as saying.
In court, Angela Blackwell's lawyer said that "This is a very, very sad situation for everyone involved and let's remember, she lost a son."
Media accounts don't specify when the suspect is due back in court on the charge of homicide by child abuse.
[Featured Image by Chester County Detention Center]