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Charge Dropped Against Mother After Baby Left at McDonald's

Posted December 21, 2006

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— One felony charge has been dropped against a mother accused of abandoning her baby at a McDonald's, and  the woman's attorney  wants  a second  felony reduced to a misdemeanor.

Michelle Richardson, 27, was charged with felony child abuse and felony child abandonment two weeks ago after a newborn was found in a restroom at a McDonald's in Zebulon.

Richardson was captured on surveillance video inside the McDonalds. Police said she carried the newborn inside under her jacket, then left the infant boy in a bathroom stall.

A customer found the baby a short time later.

Richardson told authorities after her arrest that she tried to leave the baby at the Wendell Fire Department and a church before taking him to the McDonald's. She said she thought she was complying with the state's Safe Surrender Law by leaving him in a safe place.

Wake County Assistant District Attorney Tom Ford dropped the felony child abandonment charge against Richardson this week. Her attorneys want the child abuse charge lowered from a felony to a misdemeanor, and a court hearing is scheduled for Friday to discuss that issue.
24 Comments

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  • firesrain Feb 17, 2007

    Twice? I'm sorry, I must have missed that somewhere in all the coverage...I've yet to be able to account for this OTHER instance...unless you are talking about another child that was not abandoned but yet the media insists they were...look elsewhere for informaiton, beyond the scenes and not only at the News and Observer and the TV stations and you might get the real picture.

  • firesrain Feb 17, 2007

    Judges dont drop charges...DA's do...when there is not enough PROBABLE CAUSE to prosecute...OR when the charges were upgraded beyond what is defined in the state statute. Go grab a law book, would ya?

    I am with you. The rate of teen/young adult pregnancy is on the rise, yet most young adults are not aware of the laws or what qualifies as a "safe place." Sure, McDonald's is not the same high quality place as a hospital, but its not the dump either.

  • firesrain Feb 17, 2007

    The question might better be phrased "where were YOU?" Since you think you are a stellar individual and have the right to judge anothers character, where were you those days? Oh...right...you're speaking on something you know nothing about...

    Don't count your chickens before they hatch...I am sure you don't know a thing about her, her situation or anything else. Go ahead and continue to consume everything the media tells you...OR you could be a part of the change you want to see in the world and do something about it...

  • firesrain Feb 17, 2007

    Read the state statute on felony child abandonment and you will find that in order for it to qualify the baby would have had to have been abandoned for six months...considering the baby was hours old it just doesn't fit this charge.

  • geowilrlst Dec 27, 2006

    This woman should be SPAYED !

  • sw Dec 22, 2006

    There needs to be more public awareness on the "safe haven" laws. They should be starting in our high schools. But she really needs to get some help and at least do some community service. If she really did try the fire dept and a church first, I'm sure she could have found a police station or a hospital.

  • anastasia Dec 22, 2006

    At least the mother left the child in a 'safe place'. If felony charges are brought against her, perhaps the next young mother will choose dumping the child rather than trying to leave it somewhere it will be found. If anything, the safe haven law should be promoted as such far more than it is. I don't believe I've ever seen a promo spot on TV.

  • anastasia Dec 22, 2006

    At least the mother left the child in a 'safe place'. If felony charges are brought against her, perhaps the next young mother will choose dumping the child rather than trying to leave it somewhere it will be found. If anything, the safe haven law should be promoted as such far more than it is. I don't believe I've ever seen a promo spot on TV.

  • anastasia Dec 22, 2006

    At least the mother left the child in a 'safe place'. If felony charges are brought against her, perhaps the next young mother will choose dumping the child rather than trying to leave it somewhere it will be found. If anything, the safe haven law should be promoted as such far more than it is. I don't believe I've ever seen a promo spot on TV.

  • Lefty Dec 22, 2006

    As many people that would love to have a child to love and raise and this person pretty much throws hers away-not once, but twice? Somebody needs to reach this woman how to say "No". This is a case where forced sterilization may very well be appropriate.

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