Local News

Charge Dropped Against Mother After Baby Left at McDonald's

Posted December 21, 2006 5:28 p.m. EST

— 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.