NEW CASTLE, PA. Ellport man takes plea deal in case involving dead baby
He faces a maximum sentence of nine years in prison and a $20,000 fine.
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- A man accused of leaving a newborn baby's body in a bag in the woods entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors rather than go to trial.
Jason Wilds, 25, of 215 Portersville Road, Ellport, pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to conceal the death of a child, conspiracy to abuse a corpse and abuse of a corpse before Judge J. Craig Cox of Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.
Wilds was expected to go to trial this week.
Wilds and his roommate, Cathleen Winterbottom, were arrested June 17, 2001, after the body of a newborn male was found in the woods behind 503 Argonne Boulevard in Ellwood City.
The infant was wrapped in a towel and plastic bag.
Winterbottom, the child's mother, pleaded guilty July 3 to charges of concealing the death of a child and abuse of a corpse and no contest to conspiracy to abuse of a corpse. She will be sentenced Sept. 27.
Wilds' sentencing date has not been set.
District Attorney Matthew Mangino said both face maximum sentences of nine years in prison and $20,000 fines.
Winterbottom and Wilds, who was later determined not to have been the child's father, contend the child was stillborn when delivered in their apartment June 10, 2001.
They later decided to leave the body in a plastic bag in the woods near where Winterbottom once lived.
A pathologist could not determine if the baby had been stillborn because the child was too badly decomposed when discovered by police.