Family of Timmonsville woman charged with child neglect comes to her defense

Updated: Oct. 31, 2019 at 6:18 PM EDT
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TIMMONSVILLE, S.C. (WMBF) - The family of the woman charged with six counts of unlawful child neglect is coming to her defense.

The Florence County Sheriff’s Office arrested 27-year-old Ashley Nicole Heyward McPherson after they said she and her children were living in filthy conditions at her home on Oliver Road in Timmonsville.

Ashley McPherson
Ashley McPherson(Source: Florence County Detention Center)

Officials said EMS and deputies found animal feces and trash throughout the home when they responded to the death of her 7-week-old baby boy earlier this month.

However, relatives and neighbors said that’s not the full story.

"Everybody's bashing her for what she was charged with, but they don't see that none of the fathers are in the lives of none of the six kids," her nephew said.

“I couldn’t believe it was happening to her,” Bryan Henkel, a family friend, said.

Her family said she had only been in the home for about a week. They said they were fixing up the home after the previous occupants left it in disarray.

“I’ve known her for a long time and I never observed anything bad,” Henkel said. “She was always good with the children and with other children.”

"She's a mother of six kids, she doesn't have no father help, no help, she never threw her kids off to nobody," her nephew said.

McPherson’s children remain in protective custody. Her baby’s death is still under investigation.

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