COVINGTON, Ga. – The woman arrested last spring and charged with leaving her child on the side of Highway 11 pleaded guilty to child cruelty Monday in Newton County Superior Court, the district attorney’s office said.
Kimorra Tubbs, 23, was arrested by investigators April 20, 2017, nearly three weeks after the male toddler was found strapped in his car seat in a ditch near Highway 373 by a man walking in the area.
According to a Newton County Sheriff’s Office report, the man was walking south on Highway 11 from its intersection with Highway 278 last March 30 when he heard what sounded like a small child cry.
When he went to investigate the sound he found the toddler in his car seat, laying on its right side facing the wood line. According to the report, he was unable to see the child until he walked into the ditch and turned the car seat over.
After sheriff’s office, EMS and Newton County Fire personnel responded to the scene, the child was transported from the scene by air ambulance as a precaution to be checked.
The sheriff’s office shared the story with multiple news outlets, including The Covington News, in an effort to locate somebody who knew something about the 14-month-old. According to Newton County Senior Assistant District Attorney Amber Bennett, Tubbs called 911 and told the operator she thought the baby was hers.
“The information she provided in the 911 call and an interview at her home a few hours later was that she gave her 14-month-old to a friend of hers named Ashley Wilson. She said she knew Ashley from a daycare center they worked at together and that Ashley had a daughter named Jasmine that her son played with. She provided a phone number for Ashley Wilson and indicated she did not know where she lived. She said she met her in the Walmart parking lot on Industrial Boulevard to give her the baby. Turns out, it’s pretty easy to prove Ashley Wilson does not exist. The phone number she gave went to a telemarketing firm in New York,” Bennett said.
Bennett said Tubbs also told her roommate at the time that she needed to focus and work for herself and couldn’t take care of her baby. She reportedly said her aunt in Covington was going to take care of the baby for a month.
“She left the house with the baby (and a guy she met on social media) that afternoon and did not return until the next day. She also told this roommate that the baby was at her aunt’s house on March 30," she said. "Next thing the roommate knows, she sees the baby on TV and asks Kimorra what happened and she said her child’s father must have come and gotten him and put him on the side of the road.”
Bennett said cell phone records indicate that Tubbs was in the area of Highway 11 around midnight March 29 going into March 30.
“It was interacting with a cell tower right there on Highway 11 about 2.5 miles from where the baby was found,” she said.
Bennett estimates the child was strapped in the car seat along the side of the road for around 16 hours. She said the toddler was found with a full diaper and a small cut to his head.
Bennett said Tubbs' plea was not negotiated. Judge Ken Wynne granted a presentencing investigation for Tubbs prior to pronouncing sentence.
“The maximum is 20 years in confinement. I’m sure there will be a good portion probated here in addition to confinement time,” Bennett said.
According to Bennett, the presentencing investigation should take 30 to 45 days. Tubbs will then be put on a calendar for a sentencing hearing.
As for why she left her child on the side of the road, Bennett said Tubbs has yet to offer an explanation.
“I can’t say she ever offered an explanation because the first time she ever accepted any responsibility or acknowledged guilt was when she pled on Monday and I went through the plea colloquy with her,” she said.
The Covington News has requested Tubbs' mugshot and this story will be updated once it is received.