News 13 asks defense attorney how they would proceed in case similar to mother charged with killing 5-month-old Baby Grace

CONWAY, SC – (WBTW), Monday, the mother of 5-month-old Baby Grace was denied bond after her chargers were upgraded to homicide by child abuse.

During the court proceedings, Sarah Toney would not sit still.

She left the court room several times and tried to walk out. Horry County Sheriff Deputies told Toney she would be in contempt of court if she continued.

Toney bit at her fingers and at one point covered herself in her shirt to avoid cameras. She had said to Sheriff Deputies the media was making her look like a “psycho”.

Toney even attempted to speed up the judge and the court proceedings.

In the police report from last week, just released to us Monday, Horry County police say Toney “exhibited behavior normally associated with the use of methamphetamine”.

The report goes on to say Toney told police she went into the rushing water with Baby Grace “to find God”.

She claims she lost the baby by accident.

News 13 asked a local defense attorney how he would defend a case like this one.

“That’s what the courts will focus on as far as the criminal element and the intent element. Is what was she thinking and what is her mental capacity at the moment that this occurred,” said Rick O’Neil.

Rick O’Neil is a defense attorney in Myrtle Beach.

He says normally an attorney will examine a client’s mental history to see if the person knew from right or wrong at the time of the charges.

“Anything that would give you any indication that they are not 100 percent competent, and then you review their history and any records that you may review that would indicate they may have had any mental health issues in the past; that’s a red flag that you have to really examine and see if there is not a defense that arises from that,” said O’Neil.

The magistrate didn’t set bond today, so Toney remains in jail.

The judge said her next court date is December 11th, but she could appear in court before that for a preliminary hearing on the charges.

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