Ashley Wilkins turned herself in Thursday night around 9:00. She didn’t have anything to say to our camera as she was led to a car by a local bondsman. As she sits in the car, you can see her visibly shaken. Abuse of a corpse is the minimal offense because it’s not known why she buried the infant. Local attorney Andy Citrin says the district attorney’s main objective is to find out exactly how the baby died.
“Was the baby stillborn? Was he or she born dead? Was the baby killed? Was it accidentally drowned? Was it poisoned? Was its skull cracked?” says Citrin.
If the prosecution can prove the baby was stillborn, the abuse of a corpse charge will stand, which can mean one to ten years in jail. Or they might prove the baby died by accident, and she could be charged with negligent homicide, or they can try to prove there was malicious intent.
“If the facts reveal that the child was murdered or the child was drowned or something, there’s obviously going to be questions that have to be answered and the charges may escalate after that,” says Citrin.
Something the prosecution can use—the fact that Ashley and her two brothers, Roger and Bentley, have all been arrested in the past for domestic violence. Ashley has only been charged once last May, but Roger has been charged four times over the past two years.
“Hopefully something like that didn’t happen to the baby,” says Citrin.
An autopsy report shouldn’t take that long to conduct, but Citrin says the toxicology report, which could prove whether the baby drowned or was drugged, could take longer.