Mother of 'Baby Grace' gives birth

June 29, 2008 5:54:13 AM PDT
A mother charged in the death of her daughter known as "Baby Grace" has given birth to another child. And now, that could set the stage for a custody dispute. Right now, Kimberly Trenor is locked up in a Galveston jail. Her new baby boy in the hospital.

Child Protective Services says Trenor gave birth just two days ago. The mother and her husband, Royce Ziegler II, are charged with killing two-year-old Riley Ann Sawyers last year. Both are awaiting trial. Now, there are questions as to what happens to her new baby.

The little boy was born Thursday at Mainland Medical Center in Galveston. Just a day later, CPS took emergency custody of him.

"Obviously, CPS has to step in. The mother can't take care of the kid," said KTRK legal analyst Joel Androphy. "They're certainly not going to put the kids in jail so the mother can take care of him, especially based upon the accusations."

The accusations are that Trenor and Zeigler caused the death of Riley Ann, the teen mother's first child.

"That, in it of itself, is a problem for the mother and that's probably going to lead to the termination of her parental rights," said Androphy.

Tenor accused Zielger of beating Riley Ann to death and then stuffing her body in a plastic box. Originally known to the world as 'Baby Grace,' a Galveston fisherman discovered the box last October.

Despite the gruesome allegations, Androphy says resolving permanent custody for the infant will not be a quick process. At this point, the couple stands accused, not convicted.

"First and foremost, you have to look at what's in the best interest of the child. That's what the court looks at," said Androphy.

According to Trenor's attorney, she was prepared to sign adoption papers and give the baby to a family. But at the last minute, Zeilger said he wants his parents to raise the baby. At an emergency hearing next week, Zeilger's parents could ask a judge to award them temporary custody. However, just because they are the baby's grandparents does not mean they will automatically get the infant.

"It can't be any relative," said Androphy. "It has to be some relative that CPS and the courts accept."

On Monday, a judge will hold a hearing to determine the infant's temporary placement. That is the same day the child is scheduled to be released from the hospital.

Both Trenor and Ziegler are set to go on trial in November. They're facing capital murder charges. Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty.

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