National News

Judge orders evaluation in baby found dead in fridge case

Posted September 20

— A judge wants a South Carolina mother who police say killed her 4-day-old baby by putting him in a refrigerator for hours to have a mental evaluation before he decides whether to set bond.

Prosecutors requested the evaluation Tuesday, and Angela Blackwell's lawyer didn't fight the request, saying her IQ is below 60.

"Some psychiatrists compared her to an elementary school child. I feel confident that if I were put in a room with an elementary school child for hours, I could convince that elementary school child to confess to almost anything," public defender Mike Lifsey said.

Lifsey questioned if the charge was proper because there were nine other people in the home the day the baby died. Blackwell's husband suggested after she was arrested that someone else put the baby in the refrigerator, but he would not say who.

Circuit Court Judge Perry Gravely said Lifsey can request a new bond hearing within 30 days after the evaluation report is complete, The Herald of Rock Hill reported (http://bit.ly/2cpUm7R ).

The baby died at a Chester home on Feb. 27 and Blackwell, 27, was charged with homicide by child abuse last month.

The evaluation is important to authorities so they can decide how to proceed with a plea or a trial or other action, prosecutor Candice Lively said.

Blackwell took special education classes in school and has had her mental state evaluated by the Department of Social Services before her arrest, Lively said.

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