Crime - Sacto 911

Mother of missing child 'Baby Dwight' sent to prison for 11 years

Tanisha Edwards pleaded guilty in 2012 to probation violations, more than a year after the last known contact with her son Dwight, who would be nearly 5 years old now.
Tanisha Edwards pleaded guilty in 2012 to probation violations, more than a year after the last known contact with her son Dwight, who would be nearly 5 years old now. Sacramento Bee file

Tanisha Edwards, the mother of missing child “Baby Dwight” Stallings, received an 11 year prison sentence on Friday for child endangerment and perjury.

Edwards pleaded no contest to felony child endangerment under circumstances likely to produce great bodily harm or death and three counts of perjury on Feb. 5. The search for the 11-month-old child began four years ago in April 2011 when Child Protective Services caseworkers went to Edwards’ apartment after she failed a CPS-mandated drug test.

Since then, Edwards has given multiple conflicting accounts about the whereabouts of Baby Dwight, finally settling on “I don’t know”.

The child endangerment and perjury charges were the only charges investigators could prove beyond a reasonable doubt, Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Grippi told The Bee in February.

Little evidence has been recovered and the child’s missing person case remains open. He was last seen by relatives three days before the CPS visit and both his father, Hasuan Stallings, and his maternal grandmother, Barbara Edwards, said they heard the infant in the background of phone calls with Edwards later in April.

Edwards was originally arrested in the “Baby Dwight” case on June 4, 2011 on a protective-custody warrant. After testifying in family court to a couple different scenarios in which she gave the baby to his father’s relatives, she was released from custody. She was arrested again in March 2012 when she was found under the influence of Oxycontin, a violation of her probation for a previous felony conviction.

She has been in prison since August 2012. She was charged with child endangerment and perjury in October 2013.

During the hearing Edwards admitted to having served two prior prison terms. She first came to the attention of CPS when she tested positive for methamphetamine when the baby was born on May 9, 2010. She has two older children who are being raised by their maternal grandparents.

Call The Bee’s Ellen Garrison, (916) 321-1006.

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