CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, SC (WIS) - A woman charged in the death of her 11-month-old daughter and then leaving her child’s remains in a box amid claims the child was kidnapped was not given bond at a Wednesday court hearing.
Judge Paul Burch said the bond could not be set until Breanna Lewis was given an expedited mental health evaluation.
Lewis, now 20, originally told officials that her 11-month-old daughter, Harlee Lane Lewis, was snatched from her arms and taken away by an unknown man who also assaulted her in May 2018.
Lewis was eventually charged with murder/homicide by child abuse. She was originally charged with giving false information, improper removal of human remains, and destroying DNA evidence.
Lewis’s attorneys said that she’s been in jail for more than 200 days before this appearance and were asking for bond and for Lewis to be able to stay in North Carolina where she has family members. Her attorneys say she has no claim to South Carolina, where the crime was committed, except for Harlee’s father, who is deceased.
During the hearing, the previously sealed autopsy results were discussed, which said Harlee died of excess fluid in the brain and suffocation. The defense disputed the coroner’s findings, but did not say why.
Lewis’s attorneys said she and the child’s father were not in a relationship at the time of Harlee’s birth.
On May 29, 2018, Harlee was found dead in a diaper box in a plastic bag about 1,000 yards away from her home two hours after the initial report by two deputies, the sheriff said. Lewis confessed that she made up her original story of the assault and abduction. Her black eye was sustained from a car accident she was in prior to the incident.
Lewis later told investigators that Harlee “pushed her to the brink” and that led to Harlee’s death. Lewis has no other children.
The child’s father passed away after committing suicide in October 2017. At the time of Harlee’s death, Lewis was in a relationship with a woman. Chesterfield County Sheriff Jay Brooks described Lewis in May 2018 as a “transient” who “would move in a heartbeat.”
All parties involved in the case were reminded that the case is under a gag order
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