A 27-year-old South Carolina mother of a toddler has been accused of killing her 4-day-old newborn by putting him in the refrigerator for three hours, where he suffered hypothermia with asphyxiation, reports the Rock Hill Herald. After a lengthy investigation over the February incident, authorities arrested Angela Blackwell on Monday and charged her with homicide by child abuse for her "extreme indifference to human life." Her older son has been removed from her care, though the child's father, Jeff Lewis, contends that his common-law wife, who he says is mentally disabled, is not responsible. "She’s always good to the kids," adds Lewis' father, who got to hold his grandchild for a couple hours in the first days of baby William's short life.
The magistrate was not allowed to set bond because Blackwell's charge carries a sentence of up to life in prison, so she remains in custody until a November bond hearing before a circuit court judge. Records show that Lewis, who is 35, has been convicted of shoplifting and larceny dating back to 2005 and spent more than two years in prison, reports ABC News. An image of Lewis with Blackwell in 2012 on Heavy.com shows him with several tattoos, including what appears to be a swastika on his forearm. "I think it’s all bull (expletive)," he tells WSOC. "She didn't do nothing to cause it to die." Multiple family members say there were many people in the house the night of the baby's death and that another young child with autism may have put William in the refrigerator. (These parents were allowed to visit their abused baby before she was taken off life support.)