William Lewis was only four days old when he passed away at his home after he had suffered an unimaginable tragedy. The tiny infant had been reported to have been placed inside a refrigerator, where he slowly died of asphyxiation and hypothermia.
When his mother, Angela Blackwell, removed the infant from the refrigerator at least three hours later, the baby barely had a pulse. The baby’s father attempted to perform CPR on his son, but William breathed a few last breaths and fell limp.
Blackwell contacted emergency services and a thorough investigation was conducted on the home. Nine people were reported to have been in the house when little William was placed inside the refrigerator, but no one had any idea how the baby could have gotten inside.
Six months later, Blackwell, who has been deemed mentally impaired, was arrested and accused of placing the infant inside the refrigerator herself. According to Blackwell’s family, these charges are “a bunch of bull.”
Investigators believe that Blackwell had been overwhelmed, taking care of her then 3-year-old son and the new baby she shared with her common law husband Jeff Lewis. There had been several other children staying in the home that same night and it is believed that the chaos may have been too much for Blackwell.
During interrogation, Blackwell was reported to have confessed to police that she had placed the baby inside the refrigerator herself in a re-enactment. Blackwell, who was determined to have the mental and emotional capacity of a fourth-grader during court-ordered psychiatric evaluations, had been tired and was lacking in support from other adults within the home.
In spite of the accusations against Blackwell, her family and William’s father are sticking by her. They believe that Blackwell is completely innocent and has been described as “protective” of her children. According to Blackwell, one of the children who had been staying in the home the night before William had been found had been suffering from autism. It is their belief that the child may have placed the infant inside the refrigerator, not Blackwell.
Investigators found the home that Blackwell and her children were living in at the time of William’s death to be in poor condition. These conditions were enough to take Blackwell’s other son out of the Lewis’ care and place him into state custody.
Blackwell has since been granted a $25,000 bond and ordered to be placed on house arrest as she awaits trial. During the tearful bond hearing, Blackwell’s attorney assured the judge presiding over the case that Blackwell was not a flight risk, as she did not attempt to flee at any time during the six-month investigation into her son’s death. Blackwell’s husband also came to her defense, telling the judge that Blackwell is “a good mamma” and said, “I don’t believe she could hurt anyone.”
If convicted, Blackwell stands to serve 20 years to life in prison.