New trial date set in infant death case
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
COLUMBIANA – A 25-year-old Maylene woman who is facing a reckless murder charge tied to the 2014 burning death of her infant son is set to stand trial in April, according to documents filed recently in Shelby County Circuit Court.
Sommer Nicole Wilford originally was set to stand trial in November 2016, but her trial date was reset for Monday, April 17, on Feb. 2.
Circuit Court Judge Hewitt Conwill said no continuances will be granted in the trial date “except for extreme circumstances.”
“Should this date not be resolved by the end of the April 17, 2017, trial week, it shall be placed on the court’s trial docket of Monday, May 8, 2017, and given a priority setting,” Conwill wrote.
Similar language was placed on the original November 2016 trial date.
Wilford’s reckless murder charge came in the wake of a Feb. 28, 2014, vehicle crash near the intersection of Alabama 119 and Kent Dairy Road in Alabaster.
According to Alabaster Police, when officers arrived on the scene of the 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.”
Reckless murder is a Class A felony, according to Alabama law. If convicted, Wilford could face up to life in prison.
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