Man pleads guilty in death of 28-29 week unborn baby who initially survived chemically-induced abortion

Neither father nor mother “sought emergency medical treatment for  the child”

By Dave Andrusko

Trial has been set for November 1 for a Newark man in connection with the death of a 28-29 week old unborn baby whose mother had ingested the chemical abortifacient misoprostol.  Kalina Gillum, the baby boy’s mother, and Branden C. Mull’s co-defendant, is scheduled to go on trial beginning next week, the Newark Advocate reported.

According to Assistant Licking County Prosecutor Jenny Gonzalez-Wells, “On Sept. 18, 2019, Gillum took 12 misoprostol tablets while at the residence she and the defendant shared…Gillum’s intention was to induce labor and abort the child with whom she was approximately 28 to 29 weeks pregnant.” Once the baby was delivered, “At no time does the defendant or Gillum try to obtain emergency medical treatment for the child.”

The specifics are the baby’s death are extremely difficult to read,

According to Michaela Sumner of the Newark Advocate, before and after Gillum gave birth in the bathroom of their apartment, Mull was “involved in multiple text communications with Gillum and was aware of what she was doing.” The delivery began about 18 hours after Gillum took the misoprostol. 

“After the child’s birth, Kalina Gillum indicated to Mull ‘omg it’s out. It’s huge.’ and less than two minutes later, texted that it’s moving. Several moments later she sends a photograph of the infant to Mull,” the prosecutor said. “At no time does the defendant or Gillum try to obtain emergency medical treatment for the child.”

After arriving home from work that day, Gonzalez-Wells said Mull cleaned the bathroom and placed the baby inside a shoebox inside a trash bag.

The prosecutor said in the early morning hours of Sept. 20, 2019, Gillum went to Licking Memorial Hospital with Mull, hemorrhaging, with an umbilical cord still attached to her, but no baby. She said medical staff contacted law enforcement, who responded to the pair’s home and found the baby during a search of the apartment.

Appearing in Licking County Common Pleas Court, Mull, 26, “pleaded guilty to one count each child endangering, a third-degree felony; and abuse of a corpse, a fifth-degree felony.” 

Gonzalez-Wells said, according to Sumner, “charges of involuntary manslaughter and tampering with evidence were dismissed as part of a plea deal in exchange for Mull’s guilty pleas to the remaining charges and his testimony against co-defendant Kalina Gillum, whose trial is set to begin next week.”