Teen pleads not guilty in newborn abandonment case, will undergo mental evaluation

By Dave Andrusko

safehaven3Nearly a year ago, a now 18-year-old girl was charged with attempted first-degree murder in the abandonment of her newborn son in a trash bin in Jacksonville, Illinois.

Yesterday she appeared in Morgan County court after which her case was continued until this October “to accommodate a mental evaluation of the girl,” according to Bre Linstromberg Copper of the Jacksonville Journal-Courier.

The girl has pleaded not guilty and wants a jury trial.

Anne Clough, the girl’s public defender, “has asked the court to consider that the girl could be a victim of sexual abuse and her judgment may have been impaired,” Cooper reported. “The court has also been informed through testimony by several sources that the girl suffered anxiety and depression before and after giving birth.”

Authorities say 28-year-old Quincy Stone is the father. In April, he was arrested on a charge of aggravated criminal sex abuse, because the girl became pregnant when she was 16 years old. Stone has pleaded not guilty and his next court date is September 2.

It was the morning of August 30, 2014, when a truck driver who was waiting to meet friends for breakfast, decided to clean out his vehicle.

“The man testified in court that he heard strange noises after he placed a bag of trash from his vehicle into a Dumpster in the 300 block of West Lafayette Avenue,” Cooper reported. “The man looked into the Dumpster and found the baby, naked and tucked head-first inside a drawstring athletic bag.”

Several days later the girl was arrested.

In March, the girl relinquished her rights to her child prior to a hearing to determine her fitness as a parent.

The boy has been in the care of foster parents and by all accounts is thriving,” Cooper concluded.

The girl’s next court date is October 8.