Sosa Pleads Guilty to Abuse of a Corpse

March 4, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

Lillian Elezabeth Sosa will be released from jail on Monday.

The 18 year old woman who gave birth to a stillborn child on October 26th at the El Rancho Restaurant on West Broad Street where she worked, pleaded guilty by information to "abuse of a corpse" Tuesday in DeKalb County Criminal Court.

Judge David Patterson sentenced Sosa to two years, all suspended to time served. She was given credit for the 130 days she has been in custody from October 26th, 2007 to March 4th, 2008. She will be released on Department of Corrections probation Monday, March 10th.

Sosa was represented by April Craven, Assistant Public Defender, and Ben Day served as the court interpreter for Sosa, who speaks little or no English.

Sosa was initially charged with second degree murder in the death of her child, but the charge was dropped after an autopsy revealed that the infant was stillborn. Instead, Sosa was charged with abuse of a corpse, which is a class E felony.

According to Smithville Police Chief Richard Jennings, Sosa apparently locked herself in the ladies restroom of the restaurant and gave birth to the child on Friday night, October 26th. She then came out of the restroom, told her boss that she needed to leave because she was sick, and called for someone to give her a ride home. Sosa's aunt reportedly came to the restaurant and picked her up.

Jennings says the child was discovered around 9:20 p.m. by a waitress, Karla Leon, who went into the ladies rest room to clean up, as staff were preparing to close the restaurant for the night.
Leon then reported her discovery to the manager and they called 911. Customers had already left the restaurant when she discovered the body.

Agents Billy Miller and Dan Friel of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation were notified and joined the Smithville Police Department in the investigation later that night, and after interviewing employees, decided they needed to talk to Sosa.

After discovering where she lived, Sheriff Patrick Ray went to the address on Talley Road and picked her up around 4:00 a.m. Saturday. She was brought to the Smithville Police Department, where she was interviewed by the TBI agents.

During the questioning of Sosa through an interpreter, agents determined she was a likely suspect in the case and took her to DeKalb Community Hospital for an examination. The emergency room doctor found that she had recently given birth and suggested that she undergo emergency surgery, because she had suffered some potentially life threatening complications during the delivery.

Sosa was then transported to the Cookeville Hospital early Saturday morning, October 27th. She came through the surgery fine and was released on Monday, October 29th after which she was taken into custody.

The infant, a male, fully developed child, weighed 5 pounds, 14 ounces, and was 19 inches long. Chief Jennings says it appears the mother carried the child about eight months.

EMS personnel initially thought the baby was alive but Bill Locke, Assistant District Attorney General, says the autopsy concluded that the child was dead at the time of birth.

Meanwhile, in other cases, 44 year old Denise Juareqi pleaded guilty to criminal impersonation and will be on supervised probation for six months. She must perform 25 hours of community service work. She was given credit for time served since December 28th, 2007.

36 year old Tina Young pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary and received a three year sentence, to serve 30 days and then be on Department of Corrections Probation. She must perform 100 hours of community service work.

24 year old Johnny Devault pleaded guilty by information to reckless driving and simple possession of a schedule VI controlled substance. He received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days on the drug charge, suspended to time served and six months probation. He must pay a fine of $250. He was given jail credit from December 12th, 2007 to March 4th, 2008. Devault received a six months suspended sentence on the reckless driving charge.

25 year old Elizabeth Chalfant pleaded guilty to theft and received a two year sentence, all suspended. She must make restitution to the victim in the amount of $1,956 and perform 100 hours of community service work. She was given jail credit from July 19th to August 24th, 2007 and from January 2nd to March 4th, 2008. She also pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule II controlled substance and received a three year sentence, all suspended to six months to serve. She was fined $2,000 and must make restitution of $50 to the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department. As part of her sentence, Chalfant will be on probation and or must successfully complete in-house treatment at a facility. Chalfant pleaded guilty to driving on a suspended license and received six months to serve. She also pleaded guilty to casual exchange and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days, all suspended to six months to serve. Chalfant's sentences will run concurrently, except for the theft case, which will run consecutively with the others.

34 year old Larry L. George pleaded guilty to escape, aggravated burglary, theft over $1,000, evading, and driving on a suspended license. All the cases run concurrently except the escape conviction, which runs consecutively with the others. George received a total sentence of six years to serve one year and then be on probation for five years. He will be on supervised probation by the Department of Corrections, must make restitution to the victim, perform 100 hours of community service work, and pay a $50 fine. He was given jail credit of 131 days.

37 year old Amiee D. Jobe pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and received a 30 day suspended sentence and four months of good behavior probation.

41 year old Lisa Kylene Frazier pleaded guilty to forgery and aggravated burglary. She received a two year sentence on the forgery charge and four years on the burglary offense. The cases are to run concurrently with each other and with cases against her in Macon and Sumner Counties. She must make restitution of $550 to the victims here. Frazier was given jail credit of 231 days.

52 year old Larry Lepley pleaded guilty to attempting to violate the sex offender registry. He received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days, all suspended to probation. He must perform 50 hours of community service work which can be waived if he is unable to complete it due to a disability.

35 year old Bill Bailey Swaner III pleaded guilty to theft and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days to serve 30 days. The case is to run consecutive to a Warren County case against him. Swaner must perform 25 hours of community service work on PSI probation. He is also restrained from going into the Walmart store. Swaner was given jail credit for January 20th through March 4th.

21 year old Kara L. Funk, charged with possession of a schedule II, III, and VI controlled substance for sale and possession of drug paraphernalia, was granted judicial diversion for three years. She will be on supervised Department of Corrections Probation and must perform 100 hours of community service work, and undergo an alcohol and drug assessment and follow the prescribed treatments.

33 year old Charlotte Marie Hill pleaded guilty to theft under $500 and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days. She will be on PSI supervised probation and must perform 25 hours of community service work. She must also stay away from Walmart. Hill was given jail credit of 16 days.

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