Woman jailed for attempting to sell her newborn baby

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

An Erie, Pa., woman is behind bars after trying to sell her newborn son for nearly $9,000.

Atiasha Monique Williams, 32, offered the baby to a couple, Cleveland and Joyce Way, whom she met last year at an American Rescue Workers facility in Williamsport, Pa. Cleveland is the director of social services there and Joyce works as a volunteer.

The Ways testified in court that Williams offered them her son in exchange for money. Williams rejected a plea deal that would have given her one to two years in prison. The case will now go to trial.

Williams is currently an inmate at the State Correctional Institution at Muncy. At the time she met the Ways, she was living at the Transitional Living Center, a halfway facility in Williamsport.

She’d been paroled in January of 2016 after being convicted of retail theft and assault charges in 2014. She also pled no contest in another case of endangering the welfare of a child in 2012.

Williams gave birth to the boy, named Jamir, in September. Williams contacted Way through a prison staffer and told him she wanted him to take her child.

Way, understanding that this would be an adoption, continued the conversation and said it would have to be a permanent arrangement, not just lasting till Williams got out of prison. She agreed, but said she did want to see her son at some point after getting out of jail.

The Ways have been foster parents before but both of their adopted children passed away due to terminal illnesses.

It was around the time of their conversation with Williams that the Ways received an unsigned note asking for money. The letter was written in Williams’s handwriting, the couple say, and also had her prison ID number written in the return address on the envelope.

In addition to the note was a form for a money order to Williams’s prison account. The number “999.99 X 9 will do” was written on it.

The Ways have yet to sign any documents transferring custody of Jamir to them, but they continue to care for the child. A custody hearing is scheduled for Feb. 27.

Jamir is Williams’s 11th or 12th child, and she does not know the identity of his father.

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