Mental health evaluation ordered for SC mother charged in death of her baby found dead in a diaper box

Mental health evaluation ordered for SC mother charged in death of her baby found dead in a diaper box

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – A judge has ordered a mental competency evaluation in the case of Breanna Lewis, who is charged in connection with the death of her 11-month-old daughter, Harlee Lewis.

That decision was made during a bond hearing Wednesday morning at the Chesterfield County Courthouse. Judge Paul Burch said he would not set any type of bond until that evaluation is complete. Once it’s returned, the hearing will be reopened.

Harlee Lewis was found dead in a garbage bag inside a diaper box on May 29, 2018. The box was hidden in a field near her mother’s home. During the hearing, solicitor Kernard Redmond said the autopsy report listed the cause of death as cerebral edema and/or suffocation.

RAW: Breanna Lewis bond hearing

RELATED STORY: Mother of baby found dead in a diaper box charged with homicide by child abuse

Lewis allegedly lied to police, claiming her daughter was kidnapped by a stranger who assaulted her as she was getting her mail.

The defendant is charged with homicide by child abuse.

Redmond said that, during an interview with law enforcement, the defendant did not admit to being involved in Baby Harlee’s death. According to the solicitor, Lewis did tell authorities that she blacked out at certain times and had tried to give the child CPR.

“Curiously, that’s when she said she blacked out,” Redmond told the court.

He added that there were several red flags that appeared during the autopsy which led law enforcement to conclude the baby’s death was a homicide.

Redmond requested that Lewis be denied bond. He believes Lewis is a flight risk since she is originally from North Carolina.

“The concern still is with it being across state line there’s certain challenges that it presents with her limited ties to South Carolina,” he said

Meanwhile Lewis’ attorneys, Franklin Joyner, Jr and Matthew Swilley disagreed and requested the judge grant her bond or set a low bond. Joyner said Lewis’ hometown is only 20 minutes away giving her no reason to run.

“The idea that she’s going to hop a plane and go to Brazil or she’s somehow going to go to Georgia or California whatever they say I don’t think any past conduct indicates that,” Joyner told the court.

The fact that Lewis is unemployed was another part of their argument.

“She’s been in jail for over 6 months, so her financial resources, which is the 3 prong are none,” he said.

LIVE: We have resumed our live feed of the Breanna Lewis bond hearing >>

Posted by WMBF News on Wednesday, January 9, 2019

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