Florida Grandmother Pleads No Contest to Attempted Sale of Grandson

Patty Bigbee tried to sell her grandson for $75,000 to her estranged daughter.

June 17, 2011, 4:56 PM

June 17, 2011— -- A Holly Hill, Fla., grandmother accused of trying to sell her newborn grandson last year, pleaded no contest Thursday to two felony charges of illegal sale of a child and using a cell phone to commit a crime.

Patty Bigbee tried to sell her infant grandson for $75,000, Keith Kameg of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement told ABC News.

"The parameters of the case are very unique," Kameg said. "In terms of a baby sale, it's very rare and not something you encounter every day, thank goodness."

The Missouri Lottery confirmed that in 2008, Patty Bigbee won a $1 million lottery prize in Hazelwood, Mo. Reports are that Bigbee blew through the money in two years and became desperate for money.

Bigbee tried to sell her grandson to her estranged daughter, Danielle Skiver, who she had given up for adoption in 1983, according to affidavits, which described the case panning out as follows:

Bigbee initially reached out to Skiver over Facebook and began a relationship over the social networking site.

Skiver discussed with her mother her desire to have more children. After Bigbee told Skiver she had a grandchild who had been abandoned by her other daughter, Stephanie Bigbee Fleming, 22, Skiver agreed to adopt the child.

Skiver said there was no initial communication about money for the child, but after she agreed to adopt Bigbee asked her for a fee of $75,000.

Skiver contacted authorities and agreed to cooperate with police in a sting operation of Bigbee's the sale of the child.

Bigbee and Skiver continued with police-monitored Facebook messages, and then recorded phone calls.

On the first call, Skiver negotiated the fee down to $30,000. Bigbee told Skiver that her other daughter, Bigbee Fleming, needed the money to buy a new car and pay off outstanding warrants.

On Nov. 5, 2010, Bigbee and her 42-year-old boyfriend, Lawrence Works, showed up to prearranged location and met an undercover officer and Skiver for the payment and transfer of the baby.

Police moved in and arrested Bigbee and Works.

Works and Bigbee Fleming were later charged with being a principal to illegal sale or surrender of a child. Works was released after spending 133 days in jail. Bigbee Fleming was sentenced to two years in prison.

Skiver and her husband, Guy, released a statement to ABC News expressing their relief that Bigbee finally made a plea.

"We are very pleased that Patty finally made the right choice to admit her guilt," the statement read. "We will be speaking at her sentencing on August 11 and hope that justice prevails and that she serves all 10 years that she is facing. We all love [the baby] very much and we see him as much as allowed and pray that one day he will join our family. We are not allowed to speak on any court proceedings."

Last year, the baby boy was put into the care of the state Department of Children and Families. ABC News spoke to one of Bigbee's former neighbors, who said she couldn't believe Bigbee would sell her grandson.

"I thought they must be in some kind of trouble and that's why they had to get rid of the baby and they couldn't keep it," said Sandra Wells.

Bigbee's attorney, Joan Anthony, told ABC News that Bigbee is hoping for leniency.

"We don't know what to expect," Anthony said. "I have no idea what the court could do."

Anthony said that they made the no contest decision at the last minute decided not to enter into a full trial.

When asked if Bigbee would be apologizing, Anthony replied, "Apologize to who? She doesn't have a reason to apologize."

Patty Bigbee's sentencing has been set for Aug. 11.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events