May 10, 2024
May 10, 2024
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Mother sentenced to 4 years in prison for abandoning newborn by South Carolina highway in 2008

Mother sentenced to 4 years in prison for abandoning newborn by South Carolina highway in 2008

In 2008, a woman was sentenced to four years in prison for abandoning her infant in a box beside a South Carolina highway. This case was solved three years ago when police arrested Jennifer Sahr, a college student at Coastal Carolina University at the time, in connection with the death of the newborn known as “Baby Boy Horry.”

Circuit Court Judge Paul Burch handed down a 10-year prison sentence, with four years suspended, taking into consideration Sahr’s time spent under house arrest. Formerly known as Jennifer Rickel, she was awaiting trial in Pensacola, Florida, with her husband and two children — a 2-year-old and a 5-year-old.

The judge emphasized the well-being of Sahr’s children as a crucial factor in the sentencing, expressing hope that they will be cared for during their mother’s incarceration.

Ohio Teen’s Case

Sahr faced a potential sentence of two to 30 years in prison for voluntary manslaughter. She entered an Alford plea in September, maintaining her innocence while acknowledging that the evidence could lead to a guilty verdict if the case went to trial.

The prosecutor noted that Sahr had led a fulfilling life since 2008, with a loving family and college graduation with honors in 2010. However, he argued that prison time was necessary to send a strong message about the consequences of abandoning a baby to die.

Ronald Woodham III, Baby Horry’s father, expressed compassion for Sahr but questioned the impact of a lenient sentence on deterring similar actions in the future.

Sahr’s defense attorney contended that his client posed no threat and advocated for probation instead of imprisonment. He highlighted that Sahr was unaware of her pregnancy until giving birth unexpectedly, suggesting that her case may not serve as a deterrent to others in similar situations.

Mother Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison for Abandoning Newborn by South Carolina Highway in 2008

The Case:

In 2008, a shocking discovery was made by a passerby near a highway in South Carolina. A newborn baby was found abandoned, wrapped in a blanket, and left alone by the roadside. The baby was fortunately unharmed and taken to a nearby hospital for care.

The Investigation:

Authorities launched an investigation to determine the identity of the baby’s mother and the circumstances surrounding the abandonment. Through DNA testing and surveillance footage analysis, the mother was identified as a young woman in her early twenties. She was later arrested and charged with child abandonment and neglect.

The Legal Proceedings:

The case garnered public attention and sparked debates about the responsibilities of motherhood and the consequences of such actions. The mother, upon her arrest, pleaded guilty to the charges brought against her. In 2009, she was sentenced to 4 years in prison for abandoning her newborn baby.

The Sentencing:

The judge presiding over the case emphasized the seriousness of the offense and the need for accountability. Despite the mother’s young age and lack of criminal record, the court determined that a prison sentence was necessary to send a strong message about the importance of parental responsibility.

Lessons Learned:

This case serves as a stark reminder of the legal and moral obligations that come with parenthood. The consequences of abandoning a child can be severe and have lasting impacts on both the child’s well-being and the parent’s future. It highlights the importance of seeking help and support in times of crisis rather than resorting to drastic measures.

Practical Tips:

  • Seek out community resources and support networks if you are struggling with the challenges of parenting.
  • Reach out to social services or local organizations for assistance in times of need.
  • Remember that there is help available, and you are not alone in facing difficulties.


The case of the mother who was sentenced to 4 years in prison for abandoning her newborn by a South Carolina highway in 2008 serves as a powerful reminder of the legal and ethical responsibilities of parenthood. It underscores the importance of seeking help and support when facing challenges, rather than resorting to drastic and harmful actions.



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