Murder in the toilet

Houston Chronicle:

Authorities on Thursday took the rare step of filing a capital murder charge against a 14-year-old girl, whose newborn son died after being submerged in a Baytown school toilet and having toilet paper stuffed down his throat.

The Harris County District Attorney's Office has not decided whether the girl should be certified to stand trial as an adult. If she is certified, she could receive a life sentence without the possibility of release if convicted.

"This has been a lengthy and thorough investigation," Baytown police Capt. Roger Clifford said Thursday.

"We've accomplished our mission. But this is not a joyous occasion," Clifford said.

He described the ordeal as "disturbing" and a "terrible time in the life of a young mother and her family," as well as for the baby.

If convicted as a juvenile, the girl could receive as little as probation, or as much as 40 years' confinement. She would be in the custody of the Texas Youth Commission until age 19 and then be transferred to a state prison to serve the remainder of her sentence.

A capital murder conviction can carry a possible death sentence, but the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision in 2005, banned executions of juvenile criminals.

The teen has been under investigation since the baby died April 2 in a restroom at Cedar Bayou Junior School.

The girl was taken into custody Thursday after the charges were filed and is now being held in a Harris County juvenile detention facility.

The Harris County Medical Examiner's Office reported the baby had his air passages blocked with water and toilet paper and had suffered blunt trauma to his head and neck.

The eighth-grader had not told anyone that she was pregnant and did all she could, Clifford said, such as wearing baggy clothing, "to keep quiet and secret it away from all she knew."

The teen's attorney, Gerald Yoakum, said his client had sex only once and never knew she was pregnant.

She told investigators that she was seated on the toilet and using toilet paper to stop herself from bleeding and never saw her baby splash into the bowl, Yoakum said.

In a written statement released Thursday, Yoakum said: "Please remember that this is a 14-year-old child who has experienced a tragic event."


Oh really! Was the tragic event the bleeding she was trying to stop? Did she think it normal for the splash to be coming from something out of her vagina rather than her rectum?

There was a tragedy here but this young "mother" was the perp and not the victim if this description of events is accurate. I suppose some might say the tragedy was that she did not go to abortion counseling and let someone else kill her fetus/baby, but once it plopped into the toilet that choice was no longer hers to make.

It does appear that she should be tried as a juvenile. She certainly has not displayed much maturity in this event.


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