OPEILKA, Ala. (WTVM) -- In an exclusive News Leader 9 report, we heard from the mother of an Opelika teen accused of killing her baby. Police say the teenager who police say left her newborn outside in the cold to die. The 18 year olds mother tells News Leader 9 what she believes happened.
"My daughter loved kids, she would never hurt nobody in her life. I don't know why people keep saying bad things about her," said Efernia McClendon's mother.
While defending the actions of her 18-year old daughter, McClendon's mother asked us not to use her name or show her face. She says since her daughter, a senior at Opelika High, was arrested for manslaughter in the death of her newborn baby girl, she's been bombarded with threats.
Our first question, did the teen know she was pregnant?
"No, she did not know she was pregnant, My daughter was a big girl, she did not know she was pregnant," said McClendon.
Our next question, was the baby born alive?
"No she was born still born," said the baby's mother.
When we asked her what her daughter did with the baby, Ms. McClendon did not want to talk about it.
The Mclendon's live in the Tree Top Apartment Complex. Their apartment is just a few hundred feet away from where the baby's body was found on February 4th, beside this drainage ditch, wrapped in a blanket.
"She was afraid to tell me what was going on, teens are scared these days, she was terrified," McClendon said.
According to the indictment that charges the teen with manslaughter, Efernia McClendon failed to provide care to sustain the life of her newborn by leaving the infant outdoors, exposed to the elements, thereby causing death.
"Police can say what they want to say, the baby was still born. She was terrified, lets put it that way, she was scared, worried, felt bad for doing what she was doing,"McClendon said.
Weather or not the baby was stillborn or alive when it was born, can be determined by forensic testing. Those results have not been released to the public, but we should hear that evidence at trial.
Meanwhile, the day her daughter was arrested, Ms. McClendon was evicted, from her apartment, because her daughter committed an alleged crime. She has to be out in fourteen days. As for her daughter, she remains behind bars at the Lee County Detention Facility.