A LaVergne woman who was sentenced in a Rutherford County Courtroom to spend ten years of her life in prison asked the courts for a second chance at trial. However, the Tennessee Supreme Court said NO.
Shenekia M. Parks plead guilty to attempted aggravated child neglect in 2015 before Judge David Bragg. The woman is accused of giving birth to her daughter and never seeking medical help for the newborn that she had in her home. The child later died.
Parks claimed that the trial court improperly enhanced her sentence from the minimum of eight years to ten years. Parks also suggested the courts denied her request for alternative sentencing. On January 19, 2017 the Supreme Court denied her application which means her case will not move forward.
Parks was sentenced to ten years imprisonment after the death of her daughter. Parks gave birth to her daughter in her bedroom and after giving birth, wrapped the newborn in clothing and then went to the bathroom.
Court records show that she left the newborn in the bedroom, shut the door and turned off the lights. The family of the woman later found Parks on her bathroom floor unconscious and surrounded by blood. Family members quickly called 9-1-1.
When paramedics arrived and Parks regained consciousness, they asked her if she had been pregnant, to which she denied. Once at the hospital it was determined that Parks did indeed just give birth.
Family members later discovered the newborn in Parks bedroom and transported the baby to the hospital. An autopsy report showed that the cause of death could not be determined, but noted that it was highly likely the baby suffocated.
The mother later admitted to hearing the baby cry. She also told the courts that she did not intend to suffocate the child with clothing over the baby's face, but planned to give the child up for adoption.
Court records further showed, "The defendant admitted that she did not tell anyone about her pregnancy. When asked if she was pregnant by her mother, the defendant claimed to be suffering from a relapse in ovarian cancer. The defendant stated she intentionally lied about being pregnant to Tyree Taylor, the victim's father. Mr. Taylor testified that the defendant's actions robbed him of the chance to be a father to the victim."
The Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee reviewed the case and sided with the trial courts. Shenekia Parks will eligible for parole in April of 2017. Her sentence officially ends in year 2025. Today, Parks is 30 years old.