Judge to rule on mental competency of woman who put newborn in trash


GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – A Greenville woman accused of dumping her newborn in the trash in 2014 went before a judge, Friday. The lawyer for Sharon Ferguson claims she isn’t mentally competent to stand trial.

During a hearing, Judge Letitia Verdin heard evidence from both sides and now has two weeks to make a ruling.

It is two weeks more in a nearly 3 year waiting game for the family of Sharon Ferguson. They say she wasn’t stable the day she gave birth inside a Chaney Street home in Nicholtown and allegedly put the newborn in the outside trash can.

For the years after, they have stuck by their claims that she doesn’t belong in jail.

β€œWe’ve been screaming it from the top of our lungs from the beginning,” said Freedom Fighter activist and family spokeswoman, Traci Fant. β€œWe kept pushing, pushing, pushing. You know, finally something is happening.”

Friday’s hearing centered on the testimony of three psychologists that have evaluated Ferguson since her arrest.

For the defense, Dr. David Price testified her IQ test came back in the 60s.

β€œI don’t think she’s competent to testify and to stand trial and I don’t think she was competent when she waived her Miranda rights,” he said.

The State performed their own evaluations via Dr. Samantha Horsely, who said Ferguson is slow but not incompetent.

β€œShe might need some extra guidance or education on some of the more complicated things but that doesn’t mean she lacks the capacity to do them,” said Horsely.

Much has been said about how long it’s taken to discuss competency, especially now with a trial date approaching. The state claims they’ve tried to address the issue years before the defense brought it up.

β€œInitially defense council did not feel there were competency issues,” said attorney, Christy Sustakovich.

Now, the ruling lies in the hands of Judge Verdin, while the family of Sharon Ferguson holds out hope.

β€œWe remain hopeful and prayerful now that it’s come back to the attention of everyone that it will be resolved,” said Fant.

The solicitor’s office said that they cannot make a formal comment this close to trial, but are eagerly awaiting the judge’s ruling.

Ferguson’s baby was adopted by her family. He’s nearly 3 years old and the family says he’s doing well.

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