A Woodford woman whose baby did not receive immediate medical attention after being born addicted to opiates in 2017 pleaded guilty to felony child neglect Thursday.
Georgia McClung, 25, entered the plea in Spotsylvania County Circuit Court. She was sentenced to five years in prison, with all of it suspended.
However, McClung, who has already spent the last 18 months in custody, won’t be released anytime soon. She is serving time on other charges and her agreement calls for her to complete a program that focuses on non-violent felons with severe substance abuse issues.
If McClung does not successfully complete the program, which takes anywhere from 22 to 48 weeks to finish, she would have to serve a year in prison on her latest conviction.
According to the evidence presented by prosecutor Amanda Sweeney, the Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office received an anonymous call on Oct. 26, 2017, saying that McClung had delivered her baby at home a day or two earlier without medical assistance. The caller reported that she had used illegal drugs during her pregnancy and the child was at risk.
Court records state that the homeowner, McClung’s grandmother, told deputies that neither the mother nor baby was there and that they were not welcome to come inside. Concerned about the child’s safety, deputies went in anyway but did not find McClung or the baby.
A search warrant was obtained a short time later, and the homeowner directed authorities to a trash can containing bloody clothing. She told investigators that the baby was born in the bathtub and that information on delivering a child was obtained from the internet.
The grandmother eventually gave police McClung’s phone number and they finally determined that the mother and baby were at an aunt’s house in Stafford County. The aunt denied that they were there, but they were found in the basement.
The baby boy was rushed to a hospital to be treated for an infection and other serious medical conditions. Court records state that the baby could have died had his treatment been delayed much longer.
Investigators later listened in on McClung’s phone conversations from jail and heard her tell someone that she had no intentions of taking the baby to the hospital because she knew he would test positive for drugs. The child is now in foster care.
During the search for McClung, her mother and two brothers were also arrested. The brothers were later convicted of possessing heroin, while a child neglect charge against McClung’s mother did not proceed because she was declared incompetent to stand trial.