Infant death suspect seeks dismissal of reckless murder charge

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – The attorney for a 25-year-old Maylene woman who has been charged with reckless murder in the 2014 death of her infant son has asked a judge to dismiss the charge, claiming the circumstances surrounding the child’s death do not meet the criteria for the crime.

Wilford

On Aug. 4, Kenneth Moore, the attorney for Maylene resident Sommer Nicole Wilford, filed a request to dismiss the charge in Shelby County Circuit Court.

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 the motion to dismiss the charge, Moore said Wilford was under the influence of drugs and alcohol when the incident happened, but claimed her actions “do not constitute reckless murder.”

Moore said Wilford drove her vehicle into a curb at a bank at the Alabama 119-Kent Dairy Road intersection shortly after midnight, got out of her car and tried to bang on the bank doors. Then a bush trapped under the vehicle caught fire and spread into the passenger compartment through the car’s open windows, Moore said.

A passerby saw the car fire and called police. Police and firefighters responded to the scene, discovered the infant deceased in the vehicle and arrested Wilford and charged her with reckless murder.

In his request, Moore argued Wilford’s actions fell under the scope of the manslaughter charge, not reckless murder.

“The prosecution has no evidence that the defendant acted ‘with extreme indifference to human life,’” read the request. “The evidence shows that, as a matter of law, the defendant’s actions were, at most, reckless.

“Since the defendant’s behavior did not create a generalized threat to the public, the appropriate charge is manslaughter,” read the request.

Wilford is set to appear in court for a hearing on Aug. 7 at 8:30 a.m.