A North Carolina woman is behind bars after she gave birth to two babies on two different dates, and instead of calling for medical help, she wrapped both infants in trash bags and hid them. On Thursday, she sniffled and wiped tears from her eyes as she pleaded guilty in a Johnston County courtroom.
The News & Observer reports that Bridgette Morgan Smith, 41, of Smithfield, hid the remains of her two infants under her mother’s rented home. Police responded to a call in April 2016, from James Morgan, the suspect’s brother, after he told his mother, Pamela McBride, that he found two bags under the home, located off of Hartley Drive in Smithfield.
According to police, Morgan said the bag was “squishy” and when he looked inside, he said he “recognized that it contained remains of something once living.” The responding officer checked the bag and reported her found human remains, including a small foot that was “approximately the size of a newborn’s foot.” The officer also reported that they found the remains of two different newborns, wrapped separately in towels and plastic trash bags.
Defense attorney for 41-year-old Bridgette Morgan Smith is in conference with a Johnston County prosecutor and the judge in this case. One of Smith's relatives found garbage bags containing the remains of two infants underneath his home in April 2016. Possible plea coming. @WNCN pic.twitter.com/9Bo9YLEv75
— Robert Richardson (@RobertReport) December 7, 2017
Smith’s mother told authorities her daughter was addicted to cocaine and meth and had been battling the addictions for “her entire life.” McBride said she had custody of Smith’s toddler son and 8-year-old daughter, and that another child Smith gave birth to was put up for adoption when the suspect was a teenager. She continued that her daughter had likely been pregnant at least 10 times and typically wore oversized clothes to conceal her pregnancies. McBride said she thought her daughter may have dropped another baby off at a hospital after giving birth.
Police stated that Smith claimed both babies, born two years apart, were stillborn when she gave birth. If the babies were alive today, one child would have been five and the other would be a 3-year-old. The state’s medical examiner said that there wasn’t a way to determine if the babies were born dead or alive, but physical evidence found at the home indicated that the infants were likely alive when born.
In court on Thursday, Johnston County District Attorney Susan Doyle described the remains of the babies; both infants were around 36 to 42 weeks gestation.
“This defendant showed an utter disregard for the lives of her children,” Doyle said on Thursday. “She chose to treat them like trash.”
Smith claimed that she delivered the babies at home over a toilet and when she showed no signs of life, crying, or breathing, she wrapped them up and buried them. She admitted she was a heavy drinker and used drugs during her pregnancy and for “many years” prior.
As part of a plea agreement, Smith pleaded guilty to two counts of failure to report a death. Each count carries a prison sentence of 39 months each, but as part of a plea deal, Smith will spend at least six months for each count behind bars, with a maximum sentence of eight months. She received 164 days off of her sentence due to time served in jail.
[Feature Photo: Smithfield Police]