A Maryland woman won't serve prison time despite pleading guilty to abandoning her 6-week-old baby on a roadside in July.
Sandra McClary, 27, and her boyfriend, Cordell Lee Hall, 28, each blamed the other for abandoning McClary's daughter on July 5, leaving the baby in her car seat after arguing on their way to an Independence Day party in Pasadena, Maryland, according to the Capital Gazette. McClary, a mother of four, admitted she had been drinking that day, and witnesses at the party told authorities she appeared intoxicated when she showed up, asking if anyone had seen her child.
The baby was found on the side of the road about an hour later by a passerby, who called police. When police put out notices on social media asking for information about the parents of the abandoned child, McClary came forward, the Capital Gazette reported. She had been in custody since she turned herself in, serving 149 days in county jail until her guilty plea.
McClary pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment in an Annapolis, Maryland, court on Nov. 30, and Judge Michele Jaklitsch sentenced her to time served, vacating the rest of a five-year sentence.
Although Hall was later charged with assaulting McClary, police concluded McClary was the one who abandoned the baby, after a witness saw her driving away from the scene and provided investigators with a matching partial license plate number.
State's Attorney Wes Adams said it was "heartbreaking" that a parent would abandon a child on a roadside.
"I'm hopeful that today's guilty plea by Ms. McClary is the first step in her taking responsibility, not only in her own actions, but also for the health and welfare of her children," Adams said in the statement.
It was the second time in a month McClary avoided a lengthy prison sentence, according to the Gazette. Earlier in November, McClary pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit armed robbery, but the judge in that case suspended the 20-year prison sentence.
McClary had been charged with 26 counts of robbery for repeatedly holding up a liquor store and a convenience store in Brooklyn Park, Baltimore, over a two-year stretch, Patch.com reported. Police said they also suspected McClary of holding up other liquor stores in the area, and she was the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation.