Arrest made in newborn's toilet death

June 26, 2008 5:16:02 PM PDT
A young teenage mother is now facing capital murder charges after her baby was found dead in her Baytown school bathroom earlier this year. The baby boy was found dead in the junior high school toilet 12 weeks ago.

"I can just say that the arrest was done smoothly, quickly and efficiently," said Captain Roger Clifford with the Baytown Police Department.

It was April 2 when police responded to Cedar Bayou Junior High. Authorities say the 5 pound 6 ounce baby died after being submerged in the toilet. An autopsy revealed the child, who was full term, had toilet paper stuffed in his mouth and suffered blunt trauma to his neck and head.

Initially, the teenage mother told police she wasn't aware she was pregnant. Authorities say that was not true.

"Obviously, folks, obviously we're not going to charge somebody with capital murder if they had no knowledge of what was going on," said Clifford.

The teen's attorney, Gerald Yoakum, released a statement Thursday. It says, in part, "In the next few weeks and months, we are sure that all the facts, and only the facts, not opinions and speculations, will control this case."

Yoakum continues, "Please remember that this a 14-year-old child who has experienced a tragic event."

Meantime, back at the school, officials say classmates are still dealing with the tragedy.

"It was very upsetting for everyone involved," said school spokesperson Kathy Claussen. "It's a very sad situation."

The teen is currently being detained at the Harris County Juvenile Detention Center. If she's certified as an adult and convicted, she could face up to live in prison.

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