Woman gets weekends in jail for baby death

January 22, 2009 3:33:24 PM PST
Today was sentencing day for a 20-year-old Delaware County woman in the death of her newborn. Mia Sardella of Drexel Hill pleaded no contest to killing her baby. Sardella delivered the infant at her parents' house on New Year's Day, in 2007, and then stashed the body in the trunk of a car for three weeks.

Sardella will see jail time, but not much. She will spend her weekends behind bars starting next week. 45 days in jail is the sentence the judge handed down, served in 48 consecutive weekend hours.

Sardella arrived in court this morning hoping to avoid a jail sentence all together. She was hoping for probation instead. However, the judge said there were aggravating circumstances that compelled her to impose the jail sentence.

Sardella's attorney argued that they could have proven in court that the baby was not alive when it was born, and even if it had been alive wouldn't have been able to survive very long.

The prosecutor says that Sardella gave birth to a viable child, according to the findings of the Delaware County Medical Examiner, and then drove around with it for three weeks in the trunk of her car - concealing the fact that she had given birth.

Sardella was initially charged with First Degree Murder, but over the past two years those charges were eventually reduced downward to Involuntary Manslaughter, which is what she pled guilty to last month.

In addition to the 45 days in jail, Judge Patricia Jenkins ordered Sardella to 9 months of house arrest under supervision at the conclusion of the jail term. The house arrest will then be followed by 2 years of community service for an organization called Baby Cuddles - a California organization that counsels juniors and seniors in high school to help stem the tide of baby abandonment.

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