INDIANAPOLIS (CN) – The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the conviction and 30-year sentence of a woman who, after giving birth, wrapped the newborn in a towel, stuffed him in box in her basement and denied his existence.
Authorities found out about the dead infant after his mother, Vanessa L. Robinson, visited a doctor for a vaginal infection shortly after giving birth. Dr. Andrew Wyant asked if Robinson had miscarried, but she denied having been pregnant. But during surgery to clean out the infection, Wyant discovered a full-term placenta and umbilical cord. Robinson still denied the pregnancy.
Wyant then contacted authorities.
Detectives obtained a warrant and searched Robinson’s house, where they found the dead baby in her basement. An autopsy revealed that the infant had methamphetamine and cotinine in his blood system. A pediatric pathologist determined that the baby had been alive for at least six hours after birth.
Robinson was convicted of two counts of murder, but appealed her enhanced sentence.
Judge Riley agreed that Robinson’s position as the caretaker for a helpless victim was an aggravating factor in her sentencing. The trial court correctly pointed out that the newborn was more vulnerable than other victims, the court concluded, because the child was completely defenseless and wholly dependent on his mother.