The mother of a newborn girl who was found abandoned in the woods last summer was sentenced to 18 months in prison this week but may be able to serve most of that time in a residential facility if she completes a program in prison.
In a hearing Wednesday, Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Stacy W. McCormack sentenced Olivia Dee-Rose Thompson to 10 years in prison, suspended after 18 months, and five years of supervised probation. His attorney, Debra Saltz, said the judge left the option of reconsidering Thompson’s sentence. McCormack has scheduled a hearing in August to weigh the possibility of Thompson being released into a residential treatment program if she successfully completes a specialist program at Ordinance Road Detention Centre, which provides mental health case management services to prisoners with a history of mental illness, trauma or addiction. .
“I’m glad the judge recognized the mental health issue in this case,” Saltz said, describing the sentence as “very appropriate.”
Thompson, 20, had been arrested and charged with attempted murder and child abuse after a bystander discovered a newborn baby in the woods off the Baltimore and Annapolis Trail last July. When questioned by police, Thompson said she placed the baby outside her Glen Burnie home ‘almost immediately’ after giving birth in her bathroom, claiming she had no idea she was pregnant, the documents show. of accusation.
The little girl was left outside for about five hours and was covered in ants, Assistant State’s Attorney Anastasia Prigge said last month, arguing for Thompson to be sentenced to between 10 and 18 years in prison for the incident. McCormack postponed last month’s sentencing hearing so Saltz could find a caregiver for Thompson.
Arguing for a treatment-based sentence last month, Saltz said Thompson was afraid her parents would find out about her pregnancy and that she had been exploited by the child’s father.
Prigge said last month the baby was “doing fine” and her father was seeking custody of the child. Arguing for a tougher sentence, she noted there were ‘better options’ available to deal with the unplanned pregnancy.
Maryland is a “Safe Haven” state, meaning it allows distressed parents who don’t want to care for infants to safely relinquish custody at a hospital or police station with no questions asked. . Parents and associated adults have 10 days from a child’s birth to anonymously leave a baby at a designated location and avoid any civil liability or criminal prosecution if the child is unharmed.