NOW:53211:USA01012
http://widgets.journalinteractive.com/cache/JIResponseCacher.ashx?duration=5&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdata.wp.myweather.net%2FeWxII%2F%3Fdata%3D*USA01012
73°
H 73° L 63°
Clear | 5MPH

Case dismissed against Shorewood teen in infant death

Crocker Stephenson

Feb. 20, 2012

A judge Monday dismissed a delinquency petition against a 17-year-old Shorewood girl who, having given birth to a boy in her bathtub, hid his body in her bedroom and eventually buried him in a flower bed behind her house.

The case, Children's Court Judge Karen Christenson said, turned on the issue of intent: The law required the state to prove not only that the girl concealed the infant's birth, but also that she did so with the specific intent of keeping officials from determining if the child was born dead or alive.

While the girl unquestionably tried to conceal the birth, Christenson said, she may have acted simply to avoid alienating her friends or disappointing her mother.

The girl told police that the baby was conceived in early winter of 2010, around the time of her 16th birthday. She said that although she did not gain weight or feel sick, she began to suspect she was pregnant in July 2011.

She said "she found it hard to move around," the petition says, "but was far too busy and didn't have time to worry about anything too much."

The girl, the petition says, did not see a doctor and did not take a pregnancy test.

The girl delivered the boy on Aug. 17, as she soaked in a tub to relieve severe back pain. She told authorities the birth was unexpected and that she was "in complete shock."

Shorewood police testified at the hearing that the girl placed the baby on the floor of the bathroom and then used her phone - not to call for help - but to Google how to cut the umbilical cord.

Unable to find the information she needed, she cut the cord with a pair of scissors.

She told investigators that she thought the baby was dead but couldn't be sure.

She put its body in a shoe box, which she hid in the bottom drawer of her nightstand. She then went into her living room to watch television.

After about a week to 10 days, the girl's mother complained about a foul smell coming from the bedroom.

The girl placed the shoe box containing the baby in several plastic bags and then, as her mother slept, buried the bundle in a small flower bed behind her house.

In September, the girl's mother noticed a foul smell coming from the garden and discovered the remains.

The medical examiner office ruled that, because of decomposition, it could not determine if the baby had been born dead or alive.

Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Hanson appeared shocked by Christenson's decision but had no comment.

The girl's attorney, Gilbert Urfer, praised the judge for making a tough call.

"I think this is just a tragic case for everyone concerned," he said.

"Not all tragedies are crimes."

Suburban News Roundup

E-mail Newsletter

Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.


Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter
Get the Newsletter!

Login or Register to manage all your newsletter preferences.

Community Watch

» 'Milwaukee lion' spotted in Glendale 7/27

» North Shore communities react to state ban on municipal home inspections at time of sale 7/27

» Brown Deer closes on sale of former American TV and Appliance building 7/27

» Woman robbed at gunpoint at Brown Deer bank 7/27

» Bizarre play leads to Homestead "9" sectional loss to Falls 7/22

» North Shore area baseball teams drop tough regional contests 7/22

» Whitefish Bay baseball team comes up just short of Falls in regional thriller 7/22

» Brown Deer municipal buildings need improvements 7/22

» The Suburban 16 Power Rankings: Watt, Niebrugge, and others on the next level 7/22

» Mequon seeks to develop 13 acres in town center district 7/22

» Niebrugge makes Homestead High proud again with finish at British Open 7/22

» Thiensville apartment developer agrees to consider smaller condominium development 7/22

» Whitefish Bay man allegedly charged officer with knives, screamed 'kill me' in officer-involved shooting 7/21

» Initial Reaction Podcast: A dumb-sports-fan's guide to the Bucks arena financing situation 7/21

» JCC Maccabi Games will bring 1,000 teen athletes to the North Shore 7/21

» Glendale man turns craft beer into specialty malt vinegars 7/20

» Mequon's Jordan Niebrugge finishes 6th, low amateur at British Open 7/20

» Homestead catches fire en route to baseball sectional 7/17

» Gile rescues Falls again in 4-3 regional win over Whitefish Bay 7/17

» Greenfield's Bella Matthias headlines the 2015 All-Suburban Softball Team 7/16

» Mequon's Jordan Niebrugge sets St. Andrews amateur record with 67 at British Open Updated:  7/16

» Feds say suburban Milwaukee man created online 'bazaar for hackers' Updated:  7/15

» Complaint says woman wanted judge, ex-husband and girlfriend beaten 7/15

» Mequon police chief responds to strip search allegations 7/15

» Homestead baseball team closes season on a six-game roll 7/15

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Local Business Directory

CONNECT