Wilford begins 20-year prison sentence for infant’s death

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – A 26-year-old Maylene woman began her 20-year sentence in the Alabama Penitentiary after she was sentenced during a Jan. 8 hearing at the Shelby County courthouse for killing her infant son in 2014.

Wilford

Circuit Court Judge William Bostick sentenced Sommer Nicole Wilford, who lists an address on Carriage Circle in Maylene, to two decades in prison during the hearing, upholding a 2017 plea agreement between Wilford and prosecutors.

Wilford pleaded guilty to the reckless murder charge on Dec. 7, 2017, which was a few days before her trial was scheduled to begin in Shelby County Circuit Court. She could have faced up to life in prison for the reckless murder charge.

“After consultation with law enforcement and members of the victim’s family, we were able to reach a settlement in this case,” said Shelby County Chief Assistant District Attorney Roger Hepburn. “This was a tragic incident, and we hope this resolution gives closure to the people whose lives were affected by Sommer Wilford’s deadly actions leading to Jayden’s loss.”

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.

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

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.

Between her guilty plea on Dec. 7, 2017, and her sentencing date on Jan. 8, Wilford was required to “enroll with and cooperate with” the pretrial release program, and reported in-person to the Alabaster Police Department every 72 hours between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.