Admits To Abusing Drugs, Alcohol During Pregnancies
A Smithfield woman pled guilty today (Thursday) to concealing the deaths of two infants whose remains were found under a West Smithfield home last year.
Bridgette Smith, 41, pled guilty to two counts of concealing/failing to report a death. The judge gave Smith the maximum sentence under state law which was two consecutive sentences of 6 to 8 months in the NC Department of Corrections. Smith will likely serve between 12 and 16 months before her release.
In April 2016, a resident on Hartley Drive was running a TV cable through the crawlspace of their rental home when they discovered trash bags under the house. After opening the trash bags he discovered the skeltonized remains of two human fetuses and called Smithfield Police. Smith had previously lived at the home with her mother. She was arrested in June of this year in Florida and extradited to NC to stand trial.
According to autopsy reports released for the first time today, the cause of deaths was undetermined. A DNA swab taken from Smith matched the DNA from the skeletonized remains.
Assistant District Attorney Kelly Sandling who prosecuted the case said the Johnston County District Attorney’s Office wanted to charge Smith with more than concealing/failing to report a death, however given the medical and scientific evidence, it was impossible to determine whether the fetuses were alive when Smith gave birth to them, therefore the State was unable to proceed with a higher charge.
Smith admitted to being on drugs throughout her entire life and to abusing alcohol and drugs throughout her pregnancies in these cases. She also admitted to never receiving any neonatal care during the pregnancy. She claimed she did not call police or ask for assistance delivering the babies because she was scared and using drugs.
“The District Attorney’s Office is dedicated to protecting the lives of all of our children,” Sandling told WTSB News. “This office will not tolerate people putting their addictions before the health and welfare of their children, even before they are born as the defendant did in this case. We are pleased that the judge gave the defendant the maximum sentence allowed under the law.”