• 57°

Accused murderer gives birth

County agency looking for family members to take care of child

 

A pregnant Ironton women charged with murder has given birth to a baby boy.

Ashley D. Seagraves, 23, formerly of 214 1/2 Pearl St., had her baby at 9:22 a.m. Tuesday at Southern Ohio Medical Center, said Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless.

Seagraves is accused of going to the home of Delmar Jenkins, 53, of Elizabeth Township, June 10 and eventually shooting him while he slept.

If convicted Seagraves faces 18 years to life in prison.

Lawless said the birth went well and he is not expecting Seagraves to stay in the hospital very long. While in the hospital, a sheriff’s deputy will stay with her.

Since Seagraves was in jail, expenses for the birth will fall in the lap of the county.

Lawless said he didn’t have an exact figure but that it would be a “huge expense” to the county.

The Department of Job and Family Services will find a home for the baby, director Gene Myers said.

“The usual process is to find a family member,” Myers said. “And to ensure the child is going to be put in a safe environment.”

Myers said his agency doesn’t have many cases of inmates giving birth, but if the child cannot be placed with a family member “we will decide as a county what is the best process for the child moving forward.”

Myers said the state could file for custody of the child and place it in foster care.

Seagraves was arraigned in late June for the murder of Jenkins as well as two counts of felonious assault in connection with an attack on a Lawrence County Jail matron.

During arraignment in Ironton Municipal Court, Lawrence County Sheriff’s Detective Aaron Bollinger testified that Seagraves had admitted to shooting Jenkins in his bedroom.

Bollinger testified that Seagraves told him she had spent the night at Jenkins’ home and thought Jenkins had had sexual relations with her while she was unconscious from using drugs. Bollinger said Seagraves told him she had considered killing herself as well.

She found a gun and shot Jenkins and then turned the gun on herself but found only one round in the gun, Bollinger said.

Jenkins was found still alive a few hours later by a family member and was taken to an area hospital; he was placed on life support but died the next day.

Two days after her municipal court arraignment, while Seagraves was incarcerated in the jail, she allegedly used an item she fashioned into a sharp weapon and attacked a jail matron. Seagraves also allegedly tried to choke the jail matron.

Seagraves, represented by attorney Warren Morford, pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Judge Charles Cooper set a $1 million cash bond and ordered Seagraves to be mentally evaluated by an agency in Cincinnati.