A Henrico woman who put her newborn baby in a dryer and tried to kill her was sentenced to three years and three months Wednesday.
Angela Janecka was sentenced to seven years, with all seven years suspended for the attempted murder charge. For the child neglect charge the sentence was five years with one year and nine months suspended.
The Janeckas gave up full parental rights to the baby girl who survived the ordeal. That baby is now healthy and is being cared for by a foster family.
Janecka's lawyer hoped the judge would see a loving mother who became overwhelmed and made a poor choice.
"No one ever talks about the first 20 or 30 years of someone's life," says Brice Lambert, Jancecka's lawyer.
As she waited to learn her fate for attempting to murder her newborn and child neglect, Janecka told the court, "I acted out of character and made others believe I was ok." She apologized for all of the pain, embarrassment and stress she has placed on her family. She also expressed love for her daughter.
The defense called four people to testify, including a neighbor, aunt, cousin and Janecka's husband, James. He called Angela his best friend and testified she had always been an "amazing" mother to their older son who has autism. He told the court, "It's killing her. It's eating at her. She really wants to see her little boy."
Lambert also told the court that Angela's father had been convicted for molesting her.
"I don't think that necessarily had an impact on her pregnancy and how she handled things but I think it just demonstrated that she's been through a lot in life," he said.
Prosecutors told the judge to consider all the lies: including telling people the baby was stillborn. They pointed to the fact that she looked to get an abortion and never sought pre-natal care as proof she wanted the baby dead. They emphasized the point that Angela put the baby in a tied up plastic bag and placed her in the dryer.
But both sides agree, it's a miracle the baby girl survived and is now healthy.
Prosecutors were hoping Angela would serve the maximum which was 15 years, but they say they respect the judge's decision.
When she gets out, Lambert says Angela could be allowed to see her son.
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