Dads Against the Divorce Industry

DA*DI is devoted to reinstating the societal valuation of Marriage and the traditional, nuclear American Family, with particular emphasis on the essential role of FATHERS.

DA*DI offers contemporary reports and commentary on culture; its aberrations and its heroes.

Teen acquitted of murdering newborn; convicted of injury to a child

SAN ANTONIO (AP) 1/22/03 - A 16-year-old Weslaco accused of suffocating her newborn daughter with a plastic bag has been acquitted of murder, but was convicted of injury to a child for not securing medical attention for the baby.

A jury sentenced the girl to probation, the length of which will be set later by a judge.

"That showed a heart of mercy and compassion and understanding and you won't regret it," defense attorney Charles Banker III said.

Jurors deliberated 14 hours over two days, beginning Thursday afternoon, before finding the girl guilty of the lesser charge.

The girl, who maintained she wasn't even sure she was pregnant, gave birth in the bathroom of her house last February.

The infanticide trial was the second in two weeks in Hidalgo County involving a teen mother.

A 15-year-old Alamo girl was sentenced to five years at a juvenile facility after being convicted a week ago of murdering her newborn son.

That infant was cut from his mouth to the middle of his face. The teen said the baby was cut accidentally when she tried to cut the umbilical cord with a razor.

The babies were born a day apart and the cases went on trial about the same time.

Friday morning, as the jury determined the fate of the Weslaco girl, attorneys for the Alamo teenager were in court seeking her release on bond. They called witnesses who described her as religious and aspiring to earn a college degree.

The judge denied the request for bond, and the girl will remain in the juvenile detention center pending further court orders.

During the Weslaco girl's trial, defense attorney Banker sought to portray his client as a young child who made bad choices but was not a cold-blooded killer as prosecutors described her.

He told the jury how the teenager had been devastated by her parents' bitter divorce four years ago and was in denial about her pregnancy.

The teen could receive a maximum sentence of 40 years. She would serve her sentence in a juvenile facility, unless the court later orders her to serve it in an adult prison.



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