J. Reuben Long Detention Center
A South Carolina woman will spend 40 years in prison for killing her two newborn babies in 2017 and 2018 in two separate incidents.
Alyssa Anne Dayvault, 32, was convicted last month of two counts of homicide by child abuse. The day after her conviction, she was booked into the J. Reuben Long Detention Center in Horry County, South Carolina.
"I just wanted to apologize to my family, especially to my daughters," Dayvault said during sentencing on Thursday, according to MyHorryNews.com. (Dayvault's was addressing daughters who were not the newborns she killed.)
“I hope that one day, they’ll be able to forgive me for what I’ve done. I never meant to do anything, I never harmed anyone, I made a horrible mistake with my actions and how I handled this," Dayvault added.
After her apology, Judge Steven H. John sentenced Dayvault to 40 years in prison on each count. The sentences will run concurrently.
According to testimony, Devault was admitted to a local hospital in December 2018, where she delivered a placenta and umbilical cord. Although they were consistent with a full-term pregnancy, no child was delivered at the hospital.
At the hospital, Dayvault admitted to giving birth to a baby boy in her home earlier that month. She said that the baby was born alive and took several breaths after birth.
According to arrest warrants, Dayvault also told authorities she didn’t seek medical treatment for the newborn baby, nor did she make any attempt to “preserve or save” his life. After he died, she said that she disposed of his body in a trash can at her home.
Police searched her home and found the remains of a newborn boy, who Dayvault admitted was her son.
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During their investigation, police obtained medical records from the previous year, which indicated that Dayvault was in her third trimester of a healthy pregnancy and that the baby — a girl — had a healthy heartbeat.
According to the arrest report, Dayvault admitted under questioning that she had also given birth to a baby girl in late 2017. She admitted that the baby had been born alive and breathing, but that she did not take any steps to secure medical treatment for that baby. She told police she disposed of the infant's body in a dumpster at her apartment complex.
Dayvault hid her pregnancies in 2017 and 2018 from everyone, including her boyfriend and mother.
Dayvault told police in recorded interviews that her daughter had been born with the umbilical cord around her neck and died. She also claimed to have blacked out for at least 15 minutes after giving birth to her son. When she awoke, she said she found him dead. Both times, she put the bodies in trash bags.
But in court, a pathologist testified that the baby boy defecated in the trash bag, showing that he was alive when the bag was closed. "That child was alive in the trash can," prosecutor Scott Hixson said in closing arguments, according to WJCL-TV, noting that he would have slowly suffocated.
Public defender Sharde Crawford told the jury that Dayvault "panicked" after giving birth both times, but that she had planned to give both babies up for adoption.
Prosecutors say that Dayvault will serve her entire 40-year sentence. "It’s considered a no parole offense," Chief Deputy Solicitor Scott Hixson told WLOX-TV. "That means it’s a day-for-day sentence in South Carolina."