Mother accused of leaving child in burning car in 2014 pleads guilty
COLUMBIANA, Ala. (WBMA) —
A mother whose child was found dead inside a burning car nearly four years ago plead guilty to reckless murder on Monday.
Sommer Wilford was sentenced to 20 years in prison as part of a plea agreement to avoid trial. Jayden Brodie Allen died when Wilford's car caught fire outside a bank in Alabaster in 2014. According to court documents, Wilford got out of her car and tried to bang on the doors at the bank. A bush was trapped under Wilford's car, which then caught on fire as a result of the car's heat. Because the windows were rolled down, the passenger side caught on fire.
Wilford admitted to ABC 33/40 she was drinking before the crash but denied the charge she was also under the influence of drugs. Prosecutors say Wilford was spitting on the EMT's who tried to care for her at the scene. Her family insists she is a good mother and remorseful for what happened.
Wilford's lawyers argued she blacked out and had no memory of the night of the crash. For that reason, her defense had been that Allen's death was not caused by reckless murder, as "reckless murder occurs when the behavior is so reckless that it seems purposeful or knowing," which did not apply to Wilford. In court filings her attorney argued, "No reasonable person would expect someone to die when they park their car on a curb."
Wilford remains free on bond until a former sentencing on January 8th, 2018. Court records show Wilford is required to check in with the Alabaster Police Department every 72 hours as a condition of her bond.