Anna Yocca pleads not guilty to three felony charges in attempted self-induced abortion

By Dave Andrusko

Anna Yocca with her attorney, Gerald Melton

Anna Yocca with her attorney, Gerald Melton

Anna Yocca, who used a coathanger in 2015 to try to self-abort her 24-week-old unborn child, plead not guilty Monday to three felony charges: aggravated assault, an attempt to procure a miscarriage and an attempted criminal abortion.

The Daily News Journal reported that Yocca will next be in court December 9. The baby survived Yocca’s attack, although grievously injured, and weighed 1 pound, five ounces at birth.

Reporter Michelle Willard wrote that the child is no longer in foster care and that

Last week Rob Johnson, a spokesman for the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services, said by telephone that the child was “safe” but no longer in state custody. Citing confidentiality, he declined to answer further questions.

The baby was born two weeks after Yocca’s attack in September 2015.

Yocca was originally charged with attempted first-degree murder in December 2015, a charge later reduced to aggravated assault.

As NRL News Today reported, last month Gerald Melton , Yocca’s court-appointed attorney, asked that all charges be dropped. The three new felony charges replace the original charge.

In September 2015, Yocca, 32, filled a bathtub with a few inches of water, then used a coat hanger to repeatedly stab her baby. “That’s when officials said the amount of blood alarmed her, and her boyfriend took her to the emergency room at St. Thomas Rutherford hospital,” according to Sam Stockard of the Murfreesboro Post. “From there, she was transported to St. Thomas Mid-Town in Nashville where staff members saved ‘Baby Yocca.’”

News Channel 5’s Jesse Knutson reported that at the time Yocca was arrested, “Police said the coat hanger caused significant damage to the child’s eyes, lungs, and heart.”