A 26-year-old Redwood City woman accused of trying to drown her baby moments after giving birth in the bathroom of the McDonald’s where she worked as a cashier has pleaded no contest to felony child endangerment charges, prosecutors said.
Sarah Jane Lockner entered the plea Monday after San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Stephanie G. Garratt said she would consider handing down a sentence lighter than the four years she had previously offered, according to Dist. Atty. Steve Wagstaffe.
An attempted-murder charge was dropped as part of the plea agreement.
According to prosecutors, Lockner gave birth to a baby boy while working as a cashier at the McDonald’s in the 100 block of Chestnut Street in Redwood City on Sept. 4, 2017.
Lockner went to the restroom several times during her shift with complaints of stomach pain, and during one trip a co-worker noticed blood on the floor, which she reportedly dismissed as her having a “heavy period.”
During another visit to the bathroom, a second co-worker checking on Lockner looked over the stall and saw a newborn facedown in the toilet, with Lockner’s hand on his back, prosecutors said. As the co-worker stepped down, she told investigators she heard the toilet flush.
Lockner reportedly told the co-worker not to call police, but she did anyway and responding officers found the baby boy not breathing and without a pulse. He was rushed to a hospital and placed in a medically induced coma, but has since recovered.
In an interview Tuesday, Wagstaffe said the child is living with his father’s aunt and meeting all his milestones.
“The hope is that the child will recover fully,” he said.
The bathroom birth was the second for Lockner, who delivered a baby at home about five years ago, according to prosecutors. Though there was nothing criminal about the first delivery, Lockner reportedly said she did not know she was pregnant either time.
Lockner is slated to appear in court May 4 for a sentencing hearing. She remains in custody on $11-million bail.