Mom accused of putting baby in trash compactor claims mental defect in not guilty plea

DOTHAN, Ala (WDHN) — An 18-year-old Dothan mom whose baby died after police say she placed him in a dumpster with a trash compactor last summer is maintaining her innocence.

On Wednesday, May 15, Jakayala Williams pled not guilty to one count of capital murder.

In the plea, Williams claimed she has a “mental disease or defect.”

This comes after Williams was denied youthful offender status by Judge Butch Binford.

RELATED: Dothan teen accused of putting baby in trash compactor denied youthful offender

Williams was arrested in late August 2023 after Dothan Police Investigators said she threw her newborn baby in a dumpster with a trash compactor after secretly giving birth in her Dothan home.

Dothan Investigators were alerted to the case when staff at Southeast Health said that Williams and her mother were at the hospital looking for a baby.

According to Police, Williams initially told responding officers at the hospital that she had the baby at her home on August 13 before secretly giving him to a Southeast Health nurse; however, Williams’ description of the nurse was vague, so police pulled surveillance footage, and Williams was not seen at the hospital, contradicting the story she told investigators.

Officers pulled Williams back in for questioning, and after hours of interviewing, she told them what had happened to the baby.

Police say instead of taking her baby boy to the hospital, Williams took him to an apartment complex on the West side of Dothan and placed him in a dumpster with a trash compactor attached.

The baby’s remains were later found by officers wrapped in a mattress protector inside a zipped-up duffel bag at the Dothan dump.

District Attorney Russ Goodman says his office is considering seeking the death penalty if Williams is convicted.

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