Mother of baby found in Bi-Lo Center toilet pleads guilty - FOX Carolina 21

Mother of baby found in Bi-Lo Center toilet pleads guilty

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GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The mother of a baby found in a toilet at the Bi-Lo Center last year pleaded guilty to the charges against her Wednesday, but received no jail time.

Greenville police said two workers at the arena found the boy up to his neck in water while cleaning the women's bathroom Feb. 4, 2011.

Jessica Blackham, 24, who police said is the baby's mother, was charged with two counts of felony child abuse and one count of unlawful neglect of a child. She was released from jail on a $30,000 bond.

According to court documents, the Greenville County grand jury met on July 31 and indicted Blackham on charges of unlawful conduct towards a child and infliction of great bodily injury on a child.

Days after the boy was found, the Department of Social Services said a foster family had been lined up for the child. At Wednesday's hearing, officials said the child had been adopted and was doing well.

Blackham's parents told the judge presiding over her bond hearing last year that Blackham doesn't remember much about the events at the Bi-Lo Center. They also said their daughter had amnesia. At Wednesday's hearing, Blackham maintained that she does not remember giving birth to her child at the arena.

"Why did you leave?" the judge asked Blackham.

"I don't know," a tearful Blackham responded. "The only thing I can think of is I either didn't realize what was going on, or, because of my loss of blood, I wasn't thinking clearly and wasn't able to make a decision to call somebody for help."

Blackham's lawyer said because she had no previous criminal record and has never gotten into any other trouble, jail was not an appropriate punishment.

The judge sentenced Blackham to five years in prison, but suspended the sentence to a year of home detention and three years of probation with drug and alcohol testing and counseling.

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