Angela Renee Blackwell, 28, has been sentenced to 5 years in prison for the death of her newborn son. He died of hypothermia, only four days after he was born, because his mother put him in the refrigerator.
Blackwell was, admittedly, not very smart. The woman only has an IQ of 58. For context, IQs below 70 may indicate a learning disability of some kind, while scores over 130 indicate genius. Most people hover between 85 and 115. So, you can where I’m going with this. Blackwell didn’t kill her son out of malice; she just wasn’t intellectually capable of making good choices.
It happened on February 27, 2016. Blackwell woke up at 5:30 a.m. because the boy was crying. She nursed him, swaddled him, and decided to put him in a quiet place: the bottom shelf of the fridge. According to South Carolina Sixth Circuit Deputy Solicitor Candace Lively, “I think that may have been the only place to put him so she wouldn’t hear him cry.”
Lively noted that Blackwell was alone, “tired,” “frustrated,” and “completed consumed.”
The boy was left in the fridge for the next several hours. When the police received a call about an unresponsive child, dispatchers heard Blackwell wailing in the background about how she had killed her baby. Officers noted that the baby was extremely cold to the touch, which made it easy for them to dismiss Blackwell’s claims that she found him that way. She eventually had to admit what really happened.
Though she had initially been charged with murder, Blackwell was ultimately hit with infliction of bodily harm, taking into account her diminished mental abilities. The victim’s three-year-old brother was taken into protective services in light of Blackwell’s arrest.