Mom Jailed for Waterboarding Baby, Placing Him in Freezer

An Oregon woman has been sentenced to 30 days in jail after subjecting her infant to waterboarding and placing him in a freezer, according to court documents. The woman, identified as 30-year-old Sharday McDonald, reportedly committed these acts to test the child’s father’s concern for their son.

McDonald’s sentencing took place on Tuesday, where she received not only a month-long jail term but also three years of probation. She was convicted on charges of criminal mistreatment, witness tampering, and identity theft, as per the court records.

The incident came to light in October 2021 when Gresham police responded to a report of a mother placing her baby in a freezer. The report originated from an apartment located at 174th and Burnside. Upon arrival, the officers heard a woman, later identified as McDonald, shouting about her lack of concern for the baby.

When McDonald answered the door, she was holding the baby wrapped in a blanket. The situation escalated when the baby’s father arrived and showed the police a video call. In the video, McDonald was seen holding the baby by his onesie and waterboarding him. The police report noted that the baby appeared to be trying to hold his breath as water poured over his face and into his nose.

Following her arrest, McDonald expressed remorse for her actions, stating that they were intended to test the father’s concern for their child. She believed that subjecting the baby to running water would compel the father to return. McDonald insisted that she had no intention of harming or killing her son by drowning him or placing him in the freezer. However, she admitted to waterboarding the baby out of spite.

The police consulted a pediatrician about the incident, who confirmed that the child would have been unable to breathe while water was being poured into his nose. The pediatrician also warned that such actions could lead to serious and potentially life-threatening complications.

The current whereabouts and condition of the child remain unclear from the court records. McDonald has a previous conviction for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in Texas in 2016.