Jury trial set in infant death case

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – A 24-year-old Maylene woman who has been charged with the death of her infant son is set to stand trial on the reckless murder charge in late 2016, according to scheduling documents recently filed in Shelby County Circuit Court.

Wilford

Wilford

The Alabaster Police Department arrested Sommer Nicole 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.

Prosecutors have claimed Wilford was under the influence of drugs when the crash occurred.

In December 2015, then-Circuit Court Judge Dan Reeves ordered a psychiatric evaluation of Wilford at the request of Wilford’s attorney, Kenneth Moore.

“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 requesting the psychiatric evaluation. “At times, defendant has not been able to assist in preparation of defense because of disconnect with reality.”

After undergoing the psychiatric evaluation, Wilford is now set to appear in Circuit Court for a pretrial docket call on Sept. 26, followed by a plea date on Nov. 1.

Following the pretrial docket and plea dates, Wilford is set to stand trial on the reckless murder charge beginning on Monday, Nov. 14.

“No continuances will be granted except for extreme circumstances,” read the scheduling order. “Should this case not be resolved by the end of the Nov. 14, 2016, trial week, it shall be placed on the court’s trial docket of Monday, Dec. 5, 2016, and given a priority setting.”