An Augusta woman whose infant died in the family’s filthy, roach-infested home pleaded guilty to child abuse charges Thursday in Richmond County Superior Court. She was sentenced to four years in prison.
Aileen Wright, 27, has been in jail since April 15, 2012, when her 5-month-old son died and emergency workers found the deplorable conditions in a rented trailer at Pine View trailer park on Gordon Highway.
According to the medical examiner, there was no evidence suggesting the infant had been injured or suffered any disease, District Attorney Hank Syms said.
Nicholas Womack Jr. was well-nourished and in the medical examiner’s opinion death was likely caused by sudden infant death syndrome, Syms said.
Wright and Nicholas Womack Sr., 25, were charged with five counts of cruelty to children because of the state of the trailer and the condition of the infant’s body. The baby was covered in roach bites, Syms said. The bites were inflicted after death, according to the medical examiner.
Wright and Womack had recently moved into the trailer with the infant and Wright’s other children, ages 6, 5, 3 and 1.
Defense attorney William Marcum said that the couple tried to get the landlord to fix conditions in the trailer, which lacked water in the kitchen and had sewage backing up into the sink but that he refused. The roach problem was already there when they moved in, Wright said.
“We had nowhere else to go. We just took it,” she said.
Judge Sheryl B. Jolly imposed the same sentence on Wright that she gave Womack, who pleaded guilty in March: four years followed by six years on probation. They were sentenced under the First Offender Act.
Attending parenting classes and following reunification plans set by the Department of Family and Children Services are required during probation.