Skip to comments.Woman Sentenced for Baby's Wal-Mart Death
Posted on 06/15/2006 1:51:26 PM PDT by freepatriot32
MACON, Ga. - A 27-year-old woman was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison for leaving her newborn daughter in a Wal-Mart restroom last year.
Amy Shorter covered her face after the verdict was read Wednesday, and several relatives cried as they left the courtroom. They declined to comment.
The jury found Shorter guilty of felony murder for causing the baby's death while committing first-degree cruelty to children.
Defense attorney Elizabeth Lane had argued that Shorter did not intend to kill her child. Lane said Shorter didn't know she was pregnant and panicked after giving birth in the Macon store restroom on Aug. 14, 2005. She left the baby there on impulse, Lane said.
The 8-pound infant died five days later at a hospital.
"I've seen you express remorse. I don't know what was in your mind that day," said Superior Court Judge Byron Smith.
And she didn't know she was pregnant?
What were the circumstances exactly? She certainly got what she deserved - I'm just wondering what facts the defense was trying to argue.
If she was morbidly obese there is an outside chance she may not have known. Doesn't excuse what she did when she received definitive proof, of course.
We had a girl in high school that didn't know she was pregnant until she passed out a choir concert.
At the time she was 7 months pregnant. And she wasn't fat or anything.
That wouldn't occur to me actually, the weight thingy.
Excuse me while I now slap my forehead.
Kind of a harsh punishment from a society that would have let her kill the baby just hours earlier.
But an 8 pound baby would tend to show, one would think, if the person in question was a flyweight like myself.
she could have gotten away with it had she gone to an abortion clinic...
Looks like she would have felt something kicking, moving about on the inside? Maybe she watches too much science fiction TV, and she thought it was an alien.
Maybe she, like my one sis-in-law, thought it was heartburn and gas?
I guess so....
She wasn't skinny, but she certainly wasn't even average. Maybe athletic is right.
anyway, I don't really know what happened after that. She was put on bed rest for the rest of the school year and I didn't see her again until she was a bridesmaid in my brother's wedding.
I oppose abortion, but if they didn't prove premeditation on the murder, I have trouble with a life sentence.
Especially if, as the story seems to suggests, she abandoned the child but did not take any explicit acts to kill the child, like beating it or drowning it.
I'd send her up for 10 years. It punishes her, and sends a strong message to other women not to abandon their babies, without being out of line with the intent of the crime.
Just my opinion.
Now that is an unfortunate mental image.
I must now go scrub out my skull.
Any thoughtful person will realize that this verdict is itself cruel and excessive.
I sometimes think juries get a perverse kind of pleasure out of finding a legal way to punish another person.
That's real cruelty.
Wal-Mart employees discovered the infant, just minutes old Sunday afternoon in the bathroom toilet...then quickly administered CPR.
Gotta love Ohio :)
We didn't even know of any messed up stories like that when I lived in Hell ERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR Pennsylvania.
OK, so she did drown the child by leaving it in the toilet.
I also forget that other states still have parole, we don't in Virginia so when we send you up, you are up. Story says she can get out in 2019, which is 13 years, only 3 more than what I said she should do,
so I think I'm OK with it now.
From article linked here:
"Shorter delivered a baby girl in the handicapped stall of a Wal-Mart bathroom last year. Wal-Mart employees removed the baby from the toilet, and a nurse who was there shopping at the time performed CPR. But the newborn never fully recovered and died five days later."
Baby was left in the toilet.
That would be premeditation.
Disregard my post, you found the info.
Boy, GOOD point! I hadn't even thought of that! Doesn't make sense at all, does it???
How can someone leave a baby in a toilet. I can't begin to comprehend............
Yes, that fact left me considerably less concerned for the woman.
Also the fact that her boyfriend kept asking her if she was pregnant, so her "I never thought of it" defense seems week.
Yeah, gotta love Ohio.
Yeah. And apparently what she never thought was that she'd get caught.
I still think life is excessive.
And it doesn't change my sense that many calling for life and harsh punishment are doing so because deep inside they desire to be cruel to another. They just want to do it all legal like.
Giving birth and dumping the baby into the toilet isn't cruel, unusual, premeditated, and deserving of severe punishment?
See Charles post 21. She'll get maybe 13 years for drowning a helpless baby. And as Charles pointed out in post 27, one of the articles mentioned that her BF kept asking if she was pregnant. I believe, on the little info we have, that she knew and killed the baby. Being a woman, I know there ARE symptoms of pregnancy that are hard to ignore.
Premeditation means thinking things through a bit.
You really think she planned to go into labor that day in a Walmart bathroom just to drown her new born? You really think she planned that?
More cities should have a program like this, because it was designed to prevent tragedies just like this.
You don't DUMP a baby into the toilet and LEAVE without thinking that much through.
Do you REALLY think she didn't know she was pregnant? What did she think was wriggling in the toilet?!
Premeditation doesn't have to means hours of planning or thinking over. The time it would take to have the baby, put in in toilet, and walk out of the bathroom can be long enough to think about what to do. We also don't know from the article the other details- did she clean herself up before leaving the bathroom, for instance.
The article out of our local paper:
Shorter cleaned up the stall and covered the baby with paper seat covers before leaving the rest room, Hull said. Shorter told investigators she brought a plastic bag to put the baby in, but had difficulty doing so, she said. That, Hull argued, showed intent to kill and a desire beforehand to dispose of the baby.
my main question is, how did she cut the cord? she mightve had something in her purse, but if she had scissors or a knife with her, that might be a hint that she did in fact know she was pregnant. you cant exactly tear an umbilical cord with your hands, as far as i know.
She'd have to stay in the stall long enough for the afterbirth anyway.
Are you a teenager? This woman probably went into the restroom because her water broke. That doesn't have the same odor as urine nor does it exit the body in the same manner. It gushes out without any muscle clenching.
Her breasts probably had been dripping milk for the previous month. She would have noticed stains on her bed clothes. Her periods would have ceased for nine months. She would have had to spread her legs very wide for the infant to pass thru the birth canal. That isn't the normal seating position to go to the bathroom.
After the child came out she would have had to ease the afterbirth out of her birth canal during which time she was undoubtably watching the baby squirming beneath her in the toilet bowl.
Then she would have had to clean herself. She killed this baby as sure as if she took a knife to its throat. Yes, she deserves a sentence that shows premeditated murder!
If she dumped the baby in the toilet, the sentence was fitting and correct.
What a feeding frenzy !
"But an 8 pound baby would tend to show, one would think, if the person in question was a flyweight like myself."
I worked with a woman who was a PERFECT size 6, saw her go through 2 pregnancies, she could really have hid it had she wanted to. I don't think she ever even wore maternity clothes. And the babies were not little upon birth either.
However, I DO think this woman would have noticed her own weight gain, that I will say.
Unreal. You actually believe that, don't you?
How can these women not think something's up when their period stops for months? You'd think that would give them a clue they might be . . . pregnant!
I don't know.
Not being a girl :)
My guess is they are either very naive, or rubes or both.
That's really not the point...the point is, she killed her baby.
Plain and simple.
A similar story ....but, an entirely different outcome. Unbelievable.
Pregnant woman who shot herself is free
A defense attorney argued in the Suffolk case that a woman couldn't be charged with aborting her child.
The Daily Press
BY SABINE C. HIRSCHAUER
May 9, 2006
SUFFOLK, VA -- A judge dismissed on Monday charges against a 22-year-old pregnant Suffolk woman who shot herself in the stomach to abort her unborn child.
If the case had gone forward, it would have been the first time that a woman would have been tried in Virginia for aborting her own baby.
Tammy Skinner - scheduled to give birth to her third daughter on the day of the shooting - called 911 early Feb. 23 from a downtown parking lot and told the dispatcher that someone shot her.
Police later charged her with illegally inducing her own abortion, filing a false police report and using a firearm in the commission of a felony. On Monday, Judge James D. Moore sentenced Skinner to 30 days in jail for filing a false police report then suspended all her jail time. Prosecutors asked Moore to drop the firearms charge because it doesn't apply to inducing an abortion.
On July 10, Moore will decide whether Skinner has to pay between $750 and $1,500 for the cost of the investigation.
Skinner, unemployed and living on welfare, initially told police she couldn't remember the last name of the man who picked her up, shot her and then pushed her out of a car Feb. 23. Later, she told police that the unborn child's father shot her. Skinner is the mother of two girls, 1 and 4.
During the investigation, a neighbor said Skinner was at the neighbor's apartment about 3 a.m. the day of the shooting. Skinner called 911 about an hour later from a parking lot. Officers found a red stain on the driver's seat in her car, a .22-caliber gun and a magazine with three bullets, a search warrant indicated. The abortion charge turned into a legal headache for prosecutors because Virginia's statute has remained untested for nearly 50 years. Skinner's lawyer, Kevin E. Martingayle, argued on Monday that in two similar Florida and Georgia cases, the courts sided with mothers who shot themselves and aborted their children.
In the Florida case, an unwed teenager about 26 weeks pregnant shot herself in 1994. Her baby lived for 15 days. The state Supreme Court ruled in 1997 that a pregnant woman couldn't be held criminally liable for killing her fetus.
In a 1998 Georgia case, the Georgia Courts of Appeals also sided with a mother who shot herself, resulting in the death of her fetus.
"If you put the Georgia statute next to the Virginia statute, ... the language is almost word for word (identical) ... ," Martingayle said.
Prosecutors argued against the dismissal. But they found themselves on unstable legal ground: There isn't a similar case in Virginia or elsewhere that convicted a mother for aborting her own child. The prosecutor's office now has to decide whether to accept the dismissal or opt for a grand jury indictment, Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Marie Walls said after the hearing Monday. An indictment means that the grand jury would need to conclude there's enough evidence against Skinner to send the case to trial. Walls wouldn't say whether prosecutors want Skinner indicted on different charges.
Neither Skinner nor her family would comment on the judge's decision Monday. "She is devastated ... ," Martingayle said. "She will pay for what she did for the rest of her life. ... The courts don't have to do that."
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