Attorney J. Bradley Smith answering the question: “Should I talk to the police?”
A North Carolina woman pled guilty to stealing from her neighbor’s dead child. The horrible incident took place in September of 2012 after a one-year-old boy drowned in a neighbor’s pond after wandering away from his Rowan County, NC house.
The day of the young boy’s funeral, two neighbors, Jessica Williams and Bobby Milam, broke into the family’s home. While inside they stole some expensive items including jewelry and electronics which were found at a pawn shop and inside the mobile home shared by Williams and Milam. Several personal items were also stolen including a wall ornament, a picture frame and a book that contained the boy’s birth certificate. Bizarrely, those same items were later found partially burnt in a fire pit behind their house.
A few days later police had zeroed in on the two and arrested and charged both with burglary. Just last week Jessica Williams pleaded guilty to her charges. Williams made what is known as an Alford Plea, meaning that she did not admit to the crime but did acknowledge that there was enough evidence to convict her. Under an Alford plea, the defendant must admit that sufficient evidence exists with which the prosecution could likely convince a judge or jury to find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The judge sentenced Williams to at least six months in prison though she will receive credit for approximately 170 days she already served in jail since her arrest. When she is released she will be on probation for three months and under orders not to contact her former boyfriend, Bobby Milam. Williams is also obligated to pay the boy’s mother $5,000 in restitution and $3,000 for the stolen items.
Williams’ ex-boyfriend, Milam, has also been charged with burglary and his charges are still pending. A police informant told investigators that Milam said that he blamed the family for the child’s death and that he wanted to make them lose everything. When the toddler drowned in September, Milam was one of those who assisted in the failed rescue, even giving CPR to the child. Milam has yet to reveal any more information about a possible motivation for his actions that night.
“Woman pleads guilty to stealing from neighbor’s dead one year old boy,” by David Whisenant, published at Salisbury.WBTV.com.
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