Woman admits from witness stand to leaving newborn in dumpster

Woman admits from witness stand to leaving newborn in dumpster

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - The Horry County mother accused of leaving her newborn baby in a dumpster took the stand Tuesday during the first day of witness testimony in her criminal trial.

When Shelby Taylor took the stand, she regretfully and tearfully admitted to putting the baby in the dumspter.

Her attorney, Greg McCollum, asked Taylor if she has seen the child since the alleged incident happened. The defendant said she has not.

McCollum asked Taylor if she denied doing this the day she went to police and turned herself in.

"Yes, because I was in denial," Taylor responded.

Taylor has pleaded not guilty to attempted homicide by child abuse.

The defense claims the defendant suffered from transient peripartum psychosis, an extreme variation of postpartum depression.

Taylor's attorney said she received medical care for three weeks after giving birth and has seen a psychiatrist since the day this happened.

She admitted she and her then husband were not financially secure to have a baby and she didn't want him to leave her.

Below is a portion of Taylor's testimony:

McCollum: "Are you sorry for what you did?"

Taylor, crying: "Very."

McCollum: "Do you regret it?"

Taylor: "Yes."

McCollum: "Do you understand why you did it?"

Taylor: "No."

McCollum: "If you could go back in time and seek medical care and your family's help?"

Taylor: "Yes."

McCollum: "Did you ever think something like this would happen to you?"

Taylor: "No."

Taylor took the stand after the state rested its case. The prosecution brought seven witnesses to testify Tuesday afternoon.

The first day of testimony began with opening statements from the prosecuting and defense attorneys.

"Shelby Taylor is the one who formulated a plan to end the life of her baby," the attorney for the state said.

"Shelby Taylor has never been in trouble before, she doesn't use drugs," her defense attorney said during opening statements. "Why would something like this happen?"

The defense attorney continued: "We will have a medical expert testify in this trial to show you Shelby Taylor had Transient Postpartum Psychosis in this case - an extreme case of postpartum disorder."

The newborn baby was found in a white trash bag tied with knots outside the Island Green Apartments in Socastee on April 9, 2015. Taylor was 23 years old at the time and a mother to a 16-month-old baby.

After opening statements, the state showed jury pictures of the dumpster and trash bag Taylor's baby was found in. The first witness called was Raymond Price, a teenager who first found the baby. Price said, "So when we took out the trash me and my brother went down there we put the trash in the bucket and we started to hear a noise. I thought it was a cat, we heard it again so my brother got in on one side and I got in on the other side and we started to searching through the garbage."

Next, a veteran paramedic with Horry County Fire Rescue testified, saying, "I found the infant with the umbilical cord still attached, lots of food and common household trash around the babies face."

Paramedic Keith Draybick testified: "If a parent can no longer provide for that child they can bring that child to the firehouse and give that child to us without any questions we will take care of it and notify social services.

The state then played a 45-minute audio recording of Taylor's interview with a former Horry County Police detective when she turned herself in to police the day the baby was found and she was considered a person of interest.

The trial broke for lunch at about 1 p.m., at which time the judge disallowed online livestreaming for the remainder of the trial.

Once the court reconvened, the state brought Dr. John Burney, the OBGYN who treated Taylor after the was taken to the hospital from giving birth at home.

Angie Harper, Taylor's mother testified after Taylor. The judge then let the jurors go by 5 p.m. Tuesday to break until Wednesday morning at 9:30 a.m. for more testimony.

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The 14-panel jury was selected Monday and then pretrial motions began.  Scott Hixson, the 15th Circuit Solicitor's Office's chief deputy, presented motions along with one witness and evidence.

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