CONWAY, S.C. (WBTW) – The Myrtle Beach mom who said she threw her newborn baby in a dumpster because of severe post-partum depression has been found guilty of attempted murder.
A jury of 12 – six women and six men – began deliberations Thursday afternoon after two and a half days of testimony in the trial for Shelby Taylor. The jury took just more than an hour to produce the guilty verdict.
Taylor left her infant in a dumpster near the Island Green community in the 500 block of Fairway Village Drive in April 2015. Taylor’s defense team argued the new mother suffered from a severe form of post-partum depression and was afraid of her husband, leading her to hide her pregnancy from family.
Taylor, who was 23 at the time she tried to kill the infant, turned herself into police April 10, 2015, the day after seeing her photo on the evening news after someone found the baby girl in a bag of trash.
When she turned herself into police, Taylor was found to have complications from giving birth and was taken to the hospital where she stayed for two days. Once she was released from the hospital, Taylor was booked into jail on an attempted murder charge.
Police say the newborn infant had been thrown into a dumpster and only located after a man heard noises coming from a nearby dumpster when he took out his trash. According to the police report, the man thought the noises were from an animal but upon further investigation, discovered the baby girl.
The baby girl, who still had an umbilical cord attached to her body, was estimated to be just a few hours old, police said at the time of the discovery. According to the police report, the baby was covered in blood and afterbirth. Police took the baby to Waccamaw Medical Center where she was given immediate medical attention.
Police said the baby weighed 8 pounds and 6 ounces. The Department of Social Services was called in to find a proper home for the baby girl after she was treated at the hospital.
During her bond hearing in April 2015, Taylor was granted a $10,000 bond with the restriction that she not contact any child without permission, including another child in her care who was 15-months-old at the time.
In addition to the child restriction, the solicitor’s office requested Taylor be placed on house arrest with GPS monitoring, but the judge did not make that mandate.
In the second day of the attempted murder trial, Taylor took the stand in her own defense.
A 30-minute recording was played for the jury, and what Taylor claimed nearly three years ago, hours after the infant was found in the trash, was very different from her story on the stand.
In the 2015 recording, former Horry County Police Detective Jeff Cauble asked Taylor several times whether she was pregnant or had recently given birth. Taylor denied being pregnant or a recent delivery several times, and in the recording defends herself by saying she wouldn’t have hidden something of that magnitude from her husband or family.
“I wouldn’t do this,” Taylor says in the recording. “I’m not that type of person. I wouldn’t do this. I’m a good person.”
The detective told Taylor that police had spoken with her neighbors who described Taylor as “very pregnant,” but Taylor continued to deny the allegation.
As Taylor’s voice filled the courtroom for nearly half an hour, repeating over and over that she had not given birth and was “a good person,” Taylor could be seen crying and dabbing her face with tissues sitting behind the defense table with her lawyer.
Finally, Taylor took the stand.
Nearly three years after a stranger found Taylor’s baby girl in a tied trash bag in the dumpster of a Socastee neighborhood, the mother accused of trying to kill her newborn said she was too scared to tell her husband she was pregnant because he used to abuse her.
“I was in denial that I was pregnant,” Taylor voiced through tears on the stand Tuesday.
“But you actively did not tell all the family and support you have, and your husband, that you were pregnant?” questioned the prosecutor.
“Right,” cried Taylor.
“Isn’t that correct,” the prosecutor continued.
“Yes,” agreed Taylor.
Taylor’s sentencing date is set for Feb. 15 at 2 p.m. After the verdict was read, Taylor’s bond was revoked and she was immediately taken into police custody.
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