Mother of ‘Baby Boy Horry’ pleads guilty in newborn’s death
HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – The woman who was determined to be the mother of ‘Baby Boy Horry’ has entered an Alford plea in the case.
Jennifer Sahr pleaded guilty by using an Alford plea to voluntary manslaughter during a hearing Thursday afternoon in the Horry County Courthouse. An Alford plea is when the defendant doesn’t admit guilt but acknowledges there is enough evidence to convict.
Back on Dec. 4, 2008, a newly-born baby boy, later known as “Baby Boy Horry,” was found off Highway 544 and Meadowbrook Drive. He was found abandoned in a shopping bag by utility workers. Investigators believe he was less than two days old.
Then on March 3, 2020, authorities arrested Sahr in the case and charged her with homicide by child abuse. She was living in Florida at the time of her arrest.
Horry County Police Chief Joe Hill said that Sahr was a student at Coastal Carolina University at the time of the baby’s birth and discovery. Hill added that scientific evidence led authorities to her.
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During the hearing, the prosecution and defense both made arguments on sentencing.
The prosecution argued that the baby was alive when he was born and that Sahr didn’t fulfill her human obligation to make sure that the baby was OK and would be taken care of.
The defense said that there is no proof that Baby Boy Horry was alive when Sahr gave birth. The attorney also claimed she never knew she was pregnant and in the moment she panicked and was in complete shock from the situation.
During the hearing, a man who prosecutors say is the father of Baby Boy Horry spoke out, along with Horry County Coroner Robert Edge, Sahr’s father and Sahr herself who apologized for her actions.
The judge ultimately requested a pre-sentence investigation and wants to take time to think about the penalty. He said he’s thinking about Sahr’s two young children at her home in Florida.
“I’m zeroing in on the two most important people in this whole entire case and they’re not even here. It’s these two children, ages five and three. What is the potential sentence that I can give? I do not want to damage the lives of these children,” Judge Paul Burch said.
The judge added this is one of the most difficult cases he’s had to deal with in his 30-year career.
Of the possible sentences, Sahr could face up to 30 years in prison, face probation or stay under house arrest.
The pre-sentencing investigation and report usually takes 45 to 60 days.
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