The mother of a missing 2-year-old boy saluted reporters and photographers in court Wednesday with her middle finger before pleading guilty to six counts of violating probation.
But the plea agreement by Tanisha Edwards, 36, did nothing to solve the mystery of what happened to "Baby Dwight," who hasn't been seen alive since April 2010.
Edwards, who has been in jail since March, has told authorities conflicting and often nonsensical stories about what happened to her baby.
She faces up to three years in jail on the probation violations when she is sentenced later this month. So far, none of the criminal charges against her has been related to the child's disappearance.
At Wednesday's hearing in Sacramento Superior Court, Edwards glowered at media representatives, made the obscene gesture and held up a tattered paperback titled "Betrayed" to shield her face from the cameras. The book is about a female "fledgling vampire," according to online book reviews.
Before the prosecutor could call witnesses, Edwards agreed to plead guilty to six of 13 counts of violating her probation following a 2008 felony arrest for illegally possessing ammunition. In two of the counts, she admitted failing to appear in Juvenile Court, which has been trying to locate the missing child.
Earlier this week, an attorney for Sacramento County asked Juvenile Court Judge Jerilyn L. Borack to issue an "extraction order" that would allow sheriff's deputies to forcibly bring Edwards to court. The judge asked the county to submit a written motion.
Among the witnesses scheduled to testify Wednesday was Edwards' mother, Barbara Edwards of Elk Grove, who fervently believes her grandson is still alive. "I can't give up," she said.
Barbara Edwards last saw the baby in April 2010 and is caring for her daughter's other two children, ages 7 and 15. She said she did not know her daughter was using drugs and that family members are cooperating in the search for Dwight.
"His grandma and grandpa and brother and sister – we're all here, and we love him, we miss him, and we want him back," she said.