Mia Sardella, the 20-year-old Drexel Hill woman charged with killing her newborn son, pleaded nolo contendere today to involuntary manslaughter, abuse of corpse, and concealing the death of a child.
She faces up to 10 years in prison.
Sardella stood between her two attorneys before Judge Patricia Jenkins during the plea agreement. At times, she wiped her eyes with tissue. Her mother and grandparents were seated in the courtroom.
By changing her not-guilty plea to one of nolo contendere, Sardella neither admits nor disputes the charges against her.
A gag order remains in the case. A sentencing date is scheduled for Jan. 22, two years to the day that the infant was found.
Sardella's mother found the baby inside a pink duffel bag in the trunk of Sardella's Volkswagen Beetle. Sardella has been under house arrest since her arrest. She was charged with third-degree murder in the case.
Sardella is a granddaughter of Albert E. Piscopo, chief executive of the Glenmede Trust Co., an investment firm that manages the assets of the Pew Charitable Trusts and other wealthy charities.
Sardella was home on break from her freshman year at Drexel University and alone in her room when she gave birth. Her grandfather testified at a preliminary hearing that she did not recall giving birth but recalled wrapping the dead infant in a blanket. Investigators could not find anyone who knew that Sardella had been pregnant.