According to testimony given today by friends and family, it seems Ashley Wilkins is trying to make a change in her life.
“Praying, going to church, going to counseling, going to her therapists, seeking employment, she’s been trying to do what you’re supposed to do,” says defense attorney Jeff Deen.
Wilkins was found guilty earlier this year of abuse of a corpse when she partially buried her newborn baby girl in her backyard over a year ago. In a statement, Wilkins admits she was high when she gave birth and didn’t know what to do. She has since gotten moral support and has turned to her faith.
“Every week she comes up, asks that we pray for her and so I pray for her there at the church. God forgives and loves us all and he has mercy and the judge has given a suitable sentence where she can recover from whatever problems she’s had in the past and hopefully she can progress and become a better person,” says Deacon Douglas McEnery.
It was after this testimony the judge handed down this sentence: 18 months to serve in the Front End Diversion Program followed by three years probation. If she fails random drug testing or violates her probation, she will serve 10 years in jail.
“I was pleased the judge did not send her to prison, it’s been a very traumatic experience for her and her family,” says Deen.
“We respect the judge’s decision, the judge was wanting to give her an opportunity to turn her life around and get some treatment through the community corrections program,” says Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Wright.
Wilkins herself gave testimony to Judge Lockett this morning before being sentenced. She said she felt remorse and guilt for what she did. Her mother says part of the problem was Wilkins’ boyfriend, who is now out of the picture.