A judge on Thursday announced a 40-year prison sentence for a North Myrtle Beach woman convicted of killing her two newborn babies.
Last month, a jury found Alyssa Anne Dayvault guilty of two counts of homicide by child abuse at the conclusion of her trial. Dayvault had admitted to placing both infants in the trash.
Dressed in blue jail clothing and in handcuffs, Dayvault wept as she apologized to her family, including her two daughters, shortly after Judge Steven John announced her sentence.
“I hope that one day they’ll be able to forgive me for what I’ve done,” she said.
Dayvault was a no-show for court last month and tried in her absence. A bench warrant was issued for her arrest. The day after the verdict was read, she turned herself in to local police. Her sentence was sealed and was not revealed to the public until a hearing Thursday morning.
During her trial, prosecutors argued Dayvault’s case was one of neglect. They pointed to both babies taking multiple breaths, saying Dayvault showed extreme indifference to human life.
They also highlighted Dayvault concealing her pregnancies and not seeking medical attention or any help during both deliveries.
Dayvault’s attorneys, however, said there was no evidence proving the cause of death in each case.
Chief Deputy Solicitor Scott Hixson said fecal matter was found in a trash bag the male infant had been placed in, adding the baby defecated before dying.
During an interview with police that was played to the court, Dayvault said she passed out for several minutes after giving birth to her male child in 2018. Her attorney, Sharde Crawford, said she essentially “blacked out.”
When Dayvault came to, the child was blue, limp and cold, she said.
Crawford referenced medical records from 2017 that said Dayvault had hypertension and anorexia. An expert witness said both those issues can cause problems with the delivery of a child and serious complications.
Crawford said the baby girl’s umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck, adding Dayvault had a life-saving blood transfusion after the delivery.
The attorney also said declining to seek prenatal care and not sharing with your family the fact you’re pregnant are both not crimes.