South Carolina woman gets 50 years for killing newborn baby

Joanie Holcombe (Source: Anderson County Detention Center)

ANDERSON, SC (WSPA) – An Anderson woman was sentenced to 50 years in prison after admitting to killing her baby soon after giving birth.

Tenth Judicial Circuit Solicitor David Wagner says Joanie Faith Holcombe, 25, pleaded guilty to homicide by child abuse.

Holcombe gave birth to the baby girl at her trailer in December 2015.

“After delivering the baby on her own, Holcombe placed the baby in the toilet. When the baby continued to cry, Holcombe placed her in a trash bag causing her to asphyxiate. The defendant buried the newborn in the woods and later had to rebury the child after dogs dug up the body,” according to a news release from the solicitor’s office.

The baby’s decomposed body was found by a passerby who notified law enforcement.

“What makes this case even more tragic is that Ms. Holcombe could have avoided any prosecution and prevented the senseless death of a newborn by taking advantage of South Carolina’s Safe Haven Law,” Wagner said.

The law allows people to abandon newborns and not face prosecution if the baby is unharmed to someone at a safe haven, such as a police station, hospital or fire station.

Holcombe is not eligible for parole.