Schenectady County

Mom in missing child case admits lying

The mother of the once-missing infant Madison Green, who was accused of lying for saying she wasn’t

The mother of the once-missing infant Madison Green, who was accused of lying for saying she wasn’t the child’s mother, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor perjury count Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the man who had been identified as the child’s father has been found not to be the father after all, his attorney said Tuesday, and is facing other charges.

In return for her perjury plea, Janel Davis, 27, is to receive a total of six months in jail, a term she has mostly already served.

Davis had faced felony perjury counts, accused of twice telling Schenectady County Family Court under oath that she wasn’t the child’s mother. It was eventually determined that she was the mother.

Madison had been missing for 11 days when she was dropped off at the Blessed Sacrament Church on Central Avenue in Albany on Feb. 4.

Schenectady County Child Protective Services won custody of Madison on Jan. 25 over allegations that Davis wasn’t providing a proper environment for the child. When authorities went to take the child, she was gone. After Madison turned up at the church, she was taken to Albany Medical Center by authorities to be checked out and she was fine.

Madison was placed in the custody of Schenectady County Child Protective Services and prosecutors in February said they understood the baby was doing well. Prosecutor Tracey Brunecz said later Tuesday she didn’t have a recent update on the child.

Davis, whose name has also been spelled “Jenel Davis,” took Tuesday’s plea deal apparently over the advice of her attorney, Lauren Mack. Mack in court said her review of the file indicated there were some “potential problems” with the prosecution’s case, problems she raised in a motion. But, Mack noted, it was Davis’ choice whether to take the plea deal.

In her motion, Mack argued, among other things, that there was insufficient evidence presented to the grand jury that Davis denied under oath that she was the mother of the baby.

Schenectady County Court Judge Karen Drago also noted that the court concurred with the defense’s assessment that there could be some “significant legal issues” related to the case.

Davis indicated she understood, but chose to go forward with the plea.

Davis has been in custody since her arrest in late January, held on $3,500 bail. With time already served, she is expected to be released around the first of June. Sentencing was set for July. Had she taken her felony perjury case to trial and lost, she faced the prospect of state prison time.

Brunecz later said the plea offer resolved the case “in the interests of justice.”

“She doesn’t have the worst record, she didn’t have the best record, but she did lie,” Brunecz said. “The bottom line is all of this came about over concerns about the baby’s whereabouts.”

Still pending are charges against the baby’s one-time presumed father, Deralle Green. Green faces an indictment on charges of felony criminal possession of a forged instrument and misdemeanor criminal contempt. Green is accused of violating a court order to turn over the child and possessing a forged birth certificate.

Green’s attorney, Brian Mercy, has questioned the validity of both charges. Green is due back in court next week.

Mercy said Tuesday that he has since been informed by Green’s Family Court attorney that paternity tests conclusively showed that his client was not the baby’s father. As such, any Family Court proceedings related to Green have ended.

Mercy said he expects to argue next week that the criminal case against Green be dismissed, as well.

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