A woman in South Carolina has been arrested on murder chargers after she allegedly put her newborn baby in the refrigerator for hours. Angela Renee Blackwell, 27, was arrested and charged with felony homicide by child abuse.
Now, she has been release from jail on bond, according to a local news report:
Angela Blackwell said nothing as a courtroom of people spoke during a Thursday bond hearing about her being accused of killing her 4-day-old son by putting him in a refrigerator for three hours.
Blackwell and her family wanted her home for Christmas.
They got their wish. A $25,000 personal recognizance bond, and house arrest, in a case that even prosecutors concede is “a tragedy.”
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.” She cried as an aunt told the court that people used to pick on her because of her mental abilities. And she cried as a prosecutor said her baby, William, was found suffering from hypothermia after three hours in the refrigerator.
Visiting Judge R. Keith Kelly, a candidate for a vacant S.C. Supreme Court position next year, gave Blackwell a $25,000 personal recognizance bond and house arrest after the hearing, said her lawyer, Mike Lifsey, 6th Circuit public defender.
The bond was given despite prosecutors saying there is concern that Blackwell could be “a risk to herself” if released on bond, pending homicide by child abuse charges that carry as much as life in prison.
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Candice Lively, 6th Circuit deputy solicitor, conceded in court that the death of the baby is a “tragedy.” But she said the poor conditions at the home where Blackwell admitted to police in a re-enactment confession have not changed. She also said Blackwell has “special needs.”
Blackwell’s limited mental ability was confirmed by a court-ordered mental evaluation, but Blackwell is competent to stand trial, Lively said.
According to the arrest warrant, Blackwell was at her home on Rose Street on February 27 when she put her newborn baby in the refrigerator and shut the door. Blackwell reportedly removed the infant after three hours, around 8:26 a.m., and sought medical attention.
After the newborn baby went to Chester Regional Medical Center, doctors pronounced him dead.
“The death occurred under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to human life,” the warrant states.
If convicted, Blackwell stands to spend 20 years in prison.