In 2015, South Carolina mother Sarah Toney showed up at the back door of her neighbour’s Myrtle Beach home, claiming she had lost her baby in the nearby creek.
Rescuers later found the infant dead in flood waters, People reports.
Asked why she had taken her 5-month-old daughter Grace Carlson Santa Cruz into the water, Toney explained that she was “trying to find God”. The mother also told police she took the infant to the creek because she would not stop crying.
In January, Toney pleaded guilty to drowning her baby and was sentenced to 27 years in prison.
Now, the 34-year-old woman wants to repeal her plea, saying it was made involuntarily and was “unlawfully induced,” Myrtle Beach Online reports.
Ms Toney claims her attorney did not call any expert witnesses to comment on her mental health, or consider if she suffered from postpartum depression. A police report obtained by People notes that Toney seemed to be in “emotional distress and exhibited behavior normally associated with the use of methamphetamine,” at the time of her arrest.
During her original hearing, Toney’s laywer, Jonathan Fox, asked the court for leniency, citing instances of sexual abuse and hardship in his client's past.
More to come.