OXNARD : Girl, 15, Admits She Left Newborn to Die

A 15-year-old Oxnard girl admitted Friday in Ventura County Juvenile Court that she left her newborn baby to die in a trash can in the emergency room of St. John's Medical Center on June 25.

The unidentified girl admitted to a charge of involuntary manslaughter, which could bring her a maximum sentence of four years in the California Youth Authority, Deputy Dist. Atty. Saundra Brewer said.

But Brewer said she will ask that the judge sentence the girl only to probation, not juvenile prison.

"I, of course, don't condone her behavior," Brewer said. "But I feel that based upon her age, the fact that she has not been involved in any way with prior criminality and the fact . . . that she's been through quite a bit . . . I think she's going to get the message."

The girl went to the hospital complaining of numbness in her leg early on the morning of June 25. After emergency room staff took her pulse and blood pressure, the girl excused herself and went to the restroom, where she delivered the baby, police said.

She later told police she thought the baby was dead and put it in a plastic bag beneath another trash bag.

A hospital janitor found the dead newborn more than 24 hours later. County medical examiners ruled that the baby was born seven or eight months into the young mother's pregnancy and had breathed for a short time before dying of asphyxiation.

The girl will be sentenced in October, but Brewer declined to disclose the date to protect the girl's privacy. She remains free on her own recognizance.

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