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Southwest Virginia woman convicted of child abuse and neglect in the death of her five-week-old baby

(AP GraphicsBank)
Published: Apr. 22, 2021 at 1:51 AM EDT
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WISE, Va. (WJHL) — One Norton woman was convicted Wednesday of child abuse and neglect in connection with the death of her 5-week-old baby.

CBS affiliate WJHL reports Sarah Elizabeth Bledsoe, 32, was convicted of three of the four charges filed against her — child abuse and neglect, possession of methamphetamine, and possession of ecstasy — during a two-day bench trial in Wise County Circuit Court. The court found her not guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

Investigators say Bledsoe found her child unresponsive in her home on April 21st, 2020.

During the investigation into the child’s deaths, a forensic pathologist determined that the child was a victim of “sudden unexplained infant death” associated with co-sleeping. The medical examiner testified that the child suffocated from being facedown in Bledsoe’s bed.

The Wise County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office says Bledsoe admitted that she had several visitors at her home the previous night and early that morning and had snorted “a line of methamphetamine” at some point between midnight and 2:30 a.m.

A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for June 29th.