A St. Albans woman will spend at least two years in prison after she admitted she didn’t do enough to prevent her 8-month-old daughter’s death last year.
Kanawha Circuit Judge Joanna Tabit sentenced 26-year-old Chellbie Elaine Hudson to spend between three and 15 years in prison, the maximum possible sentence under a plea deal Hudson reached with prosecutors earlier this year.
As part of her sentence, Hudson will receive credit for the 470 days she’s already served in jail.
Hudson told Tabit she wished she could turn back time and prevent the death of Lillyann Aubriana Hudson, who died in June 2018 after she was found unresponsive in a home Hudson and her then-boyfriend, William Ellis Bowen IV, shared with a few other people in St. Albans.
A jury convicted Bowen of murder of a child by refusal and failure to supply necessities and death of a child by child abuse on Sept. 17, finding he caused Lillyann Hudson’s death.
Bowen is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 25.
Hudson testified in Bowen’s trial, per the terms of her plea deal. Kanawha Assistant Prosecutor Adam Petry reported to Tabit that Hudson had fully cooperated with prosecutors in Bowen’s case.
Hudson, in August, pleaded guilty to one count of child neglect resulting in death and admitted she left Lillyann alone in a room with Bowen for about 12 hours beginning around 2 a.m. on June 23, 2018, after the couple had a fight about how Chellbie Hudson had cut Bowen’s hair.
During Bowen’s trial in September, Hudson testified that she previously had questioned Bowen’s parenting techniques, saying he displayed violent tendencies when Lillyann was in his charge.
After their fight in June 2018, Hudson said she only left the trailer to get cigarettes and later shoplifted formula for Lillyann. She also said she cooked Bowen breakfast that morning.
Hudson said she went to get Lillyann the afternoon of June 23, and that’s when she found her unresponsive.
“I miss my daughter on a daily basis, and I love her dearly,” Hudson said Friday.
Tabit responded to Hudson, saying it was Hudson’s duty to protect her daughter, especially knowing Bowen’s violent tendencies.
“You knew how mad he got,” Tabit said. “You know how he had treated her before, and you didn’t like it. You disagreed with his parenting style, yet you left him there alone with her ... You put your love of that man above everything.”
Chellbie Hudson and William Bowen IV have been incarcerated in the South Central Regional Jail since they were arrested in June 2018.
Hudson will be moved to a state prison, and Bowen will remain incarcerated until Tabit hands down his sentence.