ROGERSVILLE — If ever there was a case that called for prison time, it was Kathryn Condrey who admittedly threw her deceased newborn child into the trash, Judge John Dugger said Wednesday.
Condrey, 36, 184 Valley Crest Drive, Mount Carmel, pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of abuse of a corpse, a Class E felony.
Dugger sentenced Condrey to one year in prison with a 30 percent release eligibility.
Prior to the plea Condrey’s attorney, public defender DeAnna Snyder, asked the judge give Condrey a Judicial Diversion which would expunge her record after completing a term of probation.
Snyder told the judge that Condrey “didn’t realize she was pregnant” when she had the child at her home.
Snyder explained that the child was stillborn, and that Condrey panicked and “wrapped the child in a box and put it under the deck in her home.”
That box was later placed into a trash can.
According to court records, the birth occurred on or around Jan. 30, 2012.
But, the infant’s body wasn’t discovered until April 1, 2012 when Condrey’s husband, with whom she was separated at the time, discovered the corpse in Condrey’s garbage.
“There are some cases you just have to go to jail for,” Dugger said. “I don’t know what you were trying to hide this baby from, but that’s seems what you were trying to do here. You threw that child out like a piece of trash. For that reason alone I would deny the Judicial Diversion.”
Dugger added that other people need to be deterred from this type of behavior. Probation and an expunged record wouldn’t serve as a proper deterrent, the judge added.
“For somebody to throw a baby in the trash shocks the sensibilities of the public, and me,” Dugger said.
The attorney general’s office originally investigated the infant death as a homicide.
On Oct. 1, 2012 the Hawkins County Grand Jury returned a “no true bill” on a homicide presentment because the autopsy was inconclusive as to whether the child was born alive or still born.
Assistant attorney general Alex Pearson told the Judge Wednesday that the autopsy showed the child to be in the 38 to 40 week term.
This past February Condrey was charged with abuse of a corpse at the direction of Attorney General Berkeley Bell.
Tennessee law related to abuse of a corpse states that the charge is applicable if physical mistreatment of a corpse is in a manner offensive to the sensibilities of an ordinary person.
On April 2, 2012 the Mount Carmel Police Department was dispatched to the Condrey residence on Valley Crest Drive in the Hammond Estates subdivision on a complaint of a deceased infant.
According to a MCPD report, on April 1 Kathryn Condrey’s husband, Joseph Condrey Jr., noticed a rolled-up bundle under the deck at the back of the home. Kathryn Condrey reportedly told him it was food scraps and to throw it in the garbage.
Police said Joseph Condrey was separated from his wife at the time but was visiting the residence they formerly shared on Valley Crest Drive.
Joseph Condrey became suspicious of the bundle on April 2, so he retrieved it from the garbage and found it to contain a deceased infant.