Mother takes plea deal in drowning death of 11-month-old - Montgomery Alabama news.

Mother takes plea deal in drowning death of 11-month-old


In another surprise move Jessica McCord accepted a plea deal with the state in her manslaughter trial Wednesday morning, April 15, 2015. It's a deal McCord initially turned down before the case went to trial. Because of events over the last two days in court, both the prosecution and defense agreed the plea deal was best.

After just one day of testimony, manslaughter suspect, Jessica McCord pleaded guilty to one of four charges she faced. By accepting guilt on the chemical endangerment of a child charge, the state dropped the manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and possession of drug paraphernalia charges.

“I can't say I'm satisfied, but I can say that I understand why the prosecutors felt that way and that it was a good enough result for them,” said Baldwin County District Attorney, Hallie Dixon.

McCord was originally charged in the death of her 11 month-old son. The boy drowned while taking a bath with his four year-old brother. Although she wasn't home at the time, prosecutors contended that Jessica knew better than to leave her husband, John McCord in charge of the boys, telling jurors that she knew he wasn't capable of properly caring for the boys because of mental illness.

Just before trial, John McCord agreed to testify for the state against his wife. Another key witness for the state was the now five year-old brother of the victim. Prosecutors made it known that they might call him to the witness stand.

“It was our position which I submitted in a written notice that him taking the stand in this prosecution was completely unnecessary even for the best interest of the prosecution,” said McCord's defense attorney, Michael Pylant.

The child's guardian reached out to Fox 10 News Tuesday and voiced his concern over the boy having to relive the tragedy no matter whose interests it served.

“We were adamant from day one that we did not want him to testify, whether it be the defense attorney, whether it be the prosecution. To us it doesn't matter and we're not choosing sides in this. Our side is on the side of our son,” the guardian who didn't want to be identified said.

Wednesday morning, Baldwin County District Attorney, Hallie Dixon and her team of prosecutors accepted McCord's plea offer citing the best interest of the child as a major reason.

“In the end, the parents of that child…I know they reached out to y'all…they really don't want the child to be called and we actually pled Mr. McCord to keep it from happening, but in the end we ended up…once she came in this morning and said she wanted to do a plea, I think the chemical endangerment protects the public enough,” Dixon explained.

John McCord pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide. Prosecutors say he was sentenced to one year, suspended for two years formal probation. Jessica was sentenced to five years in prison, suspended for three years formal probation.

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