DOTHAN, Ala (WDHN) — New information is coming to light in the case of a Dothan woman accused of putting her baby in a trash compactor in the heat of August.
Jakayla Williams, 18, is charged with one count of Capital Murder. Police arrested Williams in late August after investigators said she threw her newborn baby in a dumpster with a trash compactor after secretly giving birth in her Dothan home.
During a preliminary hearing Friday morning, state prosecutors revealed they would be seeking the death penalty.
Williams’ defense team, comprised of Aimee Cobb Smith and Clay Wadsworth, is seeking a reasonable bond for their client, claiming she needs mental health treatment.
The state objected to Williams getting a bond, saying there is a difference between immaturity and mental competency and that Williams is a “danger to every living-breathing child.”
Dothan Investigators were alerted to the case when staff at Southeast Health said that Williams and her mother were at the hospital looking for a baby.
According to Police, Williams initially told officers that she had the baby at her home in Dothan on August 13 before secretly giving him to a Southeast Health nurse, but Williams’ description of the nurse was vague, so they pulled surveillance footage, and Williams was not seen at the hospital, contradicting the story she told police.
After hours of interviewing, Williams told them what happened to the baby.
DNA evidence from the preliminary autopsy confirmed that the remains found in the compactor were those of Williams’ baby boy. The complete autopsy has yet to come back from the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences.
Investigators say the baby was alive when put in the compactor, but Williams’ defense team asked if there is evidence proving this.
During the hearing, Wadsworth said no one knows what happened on August 13 but that this is a singular incident and Williams is a high school graduate who made A’s and B’s.
“She is still a child,” Clay Wadsworth said.
One state prosecutor said in response to Wadsworth calling Williams a child that they are talking about the wrong child and that it is pitiful to the dead baby boy that only a few people are in the courtroom are there for the baby and are instead for Williams.
Judge Benjamin Lewis decided to send Williams’ case to a grand jury and took the motion to set a bond under advisement.