MT. VERNON – The retrial process is moving forward in Jefferson County Court for a 25-year-old Mt. Vernon woman previously convicted for her involvement in the brutal battery of her infant son.
Abagail Adkins is back in the Jefferson County Jail for a new trial after the Illinois Appellate Court found she “received ineffective assistance of counsel” due to her defense attorney allowing a Mt. Vernon Police detective to interview Adkins without the attorney being present.
Adkins was ordered to be returned to Jefferson County from the Illinois Department of Corrections and her bond status was reinstated at $250,000 – the amount set following her initial arrest. She has again pleaded not guilty in the case.
Adkins and the baby’s father Tyrone Steele were both arrested and charged in April 2017 with Class X aggravated child abuse resulting in permanent disability, following a report from Cardinal Glennon regarding possible child abuse of the couple’s infant son.
According to court documents, the neonatologist at Cardinal Glennon became concerned because the child had an enlarged head.
An ultrasound and CT scan ultimately revealed the baby had bleeding between his skull and brain.
Other tests revealed the infant also had 14 rib fractures, a skull fracture with brain tissue injury. Court records show that while Steele was the one who assaulted the child, Adkins was also charged because she was aware of the abuse but did not stop it or report it.
Two years later both Steele and Adkins were convicted and sentenced to 20 years each in the Illinois Department of Corrections. They were both ordered to serve 85 percent of their 20-year sentences.
Adkins ultimately appealed her conviction leading the Fifth Appellate Court in Mt. Vernon to vacate her conviction and remand the case back to Jefferson County for a new trial.
On Tuesday attorneys in the case agreed to schedule a pretrial hearing
in the case for October 5, and a jury trial in January 2023.