Attorney: Infant death suspect has ‘Disconnect with reality’
Published 11:01 am Tuesday, December 8, 2015
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
COLUMBIANA – A Shelby County Circuit Court judge has agreed to allow a certified forensic examiner to conduct a psychiatric evaluation on a 24-year-old Maylene woman who has been charged in the death of her infant son after the suspect has allegedly “shown inability to grasp (the) seriousness of (the) offense.”
In a Dec. 2 order, Circuit Court Judge Dan Reeves agreed to allow a psychiatric evaluation on Sommer Nicole Wilford, who is facing a felony reckless murder charge.
The Alabaster Police Department arrested Wilford and charged her with one count of reckless murder on Feb. 28, 2014, after responding to a report of a one-vehicle accident near the intersection of Alabama 119 and Kent Dairy Road.
According to Alabaster Police, when officers arrived on the scene of the Feb. 28, 2014, crash, they found Wilford “standing outside the vehicle that was engulfed in flames.” After Alabaster firefighters extinguished the fire, they discovered the body of 19-month-old Jayden Allen inside the vehicle.
Wilford was released from the Shelby County Jail on March 20, 2014, after multiple individuals put their properties up as collateral on her $300,000 bond.
On Dec. 1, Wilford’s attorney, Kenneth Moore, asked Reeves to order the psychiatric evaluation on Wilford, claiming “there has been a swift deterioration in the communication between client and counsel,” and claiming he “is no longer certain the defendant understands the nature of her alleged acts and the possible consequences.”
“Defendant has a long history of drug use and drug abuse, and has demonstrated a decreasing ability to understand the situation she is presently in,” read Moore’s order. “At times, defendant has not been able to assist in preparation of defense because of disconnect with reality.”
Reeves ordered the outpatient psychiatric evaluation to be performed by a certified forensic examiner employed with or under contract by the Alabama Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation.
After conducting the state-funded evaluation, the examiner must submit a report to the court outlining if Wilford is currently able to assist her attorney in her defense, if she is able to understand and voluntarily waive her Sixth, Fifth and Fourth Amendment rights and what her mental condition was at the time of the 2014 crash.