An Alabama woman who has been accused of killing her newborn baby and dumping the body in a storage bin will not face a murder charge because police say they don’t have sufficient evidence to charge her.
According to news reports, a south Alabama judge determined authorities did not have enough evidence to charge Chastity Ballinger with capital murder in the death of her newborn baby. Ballinger’s attorney, William Whatley, says police had probable cause to charge his client with abuse of a corpse, but not murder because they could not prove her baby was alive at the time of his death. He indicated Ballinger has a history of miscarriages and stillbirths and there is a chance the baby was dead at the time of delivery.
Without a murder charge, a grand jury will have to determine if it can bring the abuse of a corpse charge against her.
Local news has more on this potential infanticide case:
Ballinger remains in the Wilcox County Jail after being arrested on murder charges in May.
According to reports, while living in Arlington about eight years ago, Ballinger gave birth to a full-term baby inside her mobile home, wrapped it in plastic and put it in a plastic storage container.
Ballinger apparently took the storage container with her when she moved to Clarke County. She kept it in a storage shed behind the home she shared with her then-husband.
Her ex-husband, Kenneth Sheppard, found the remains that were left behind in a home they shared in Thomasville in September 2013.
“The court determined that the prosecution could not establish that there was a live birth in this case and therefore there could not have been a murder of any type,” Whatley said.
“There was no evidence that the infant was alive at the time this incident took place,” he continued. “The court heard expert testimony that there was no scientific or forensic evidence to establish the infant was not stillborn and also that my client has a medical history showing prior miscarriages and stillborn births in hospital settings.