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  • Woman, 21, charged in baby's death

    Wisconsin has a Safe Haven law, as does Minnesota, which is just across the
    river from Hudson, Wisconsin.

    J.


    HUDSON, WIS.: Woman, 21, charged in baby's death
    BY KEVIN HARTER
    Pioneer Press

    A 21-year-old Hudson, Wis., woman faces four felony charges, including
    first-degree reckless homicide, after allegedly allowing her newborn boy to die
    after she gave birth in the bathroom of her apartment.

    Tressa M. Hagen, a child-care worker, gave birth to a 9 pound, 1 ounce baby on
    Aug. 17, according to St. Croix County Court records. Hudson police found the
    baby, wrapped in a red towel, in a crate in Hagen's bedroom closet on Aug. 18.

    The delay in charging Hagen was largely due to extensive autopsy work as the
    Ramsey County medical examiner and forensic pediatrics experts determined if
    the baby was alive at birth.

    The autopsy concluded that the baby was full-term, about 21 inches long and
    appeared to have been born alive. The boy was breathing and had a beating heart
    after birth but suffered head trauma. There also was evidence of possible
    asphyxia.

    According to the medical examiner's report, the baby's "probable cause of death
    was from multiple factors associated with an unattended delivery." The medical
    examiner concluded that the baby's death was a "probable homicide," and that if
    Hagen had requested medical help the baby would have survived.

    In addition to reckless homicide, which calls for a sentence of up to 60 years,
    Hagen was charged with hiding a corpse, concealing the death of a child and
    child neglect.

    She remains free on $10,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court for a
    preliminary hearing Dec. 1.

    "There are a lot of issues in the case that need to be resolved," said St.
    Croix County District Attorney Eric Johnson. "Our focus is not only on the
    defendant's actions, but on the baby."

    The basis of the charges, he said, is that the baby would have lived if Hagen
    had sought help.

    Neither Hagen nor her attorney, Mark Gherty, could be reached for comment
    Thursday.

    According to the criminal complaint, a nurse at Lakeview Hospital in Stillwater
    contacted Hudson police after Hagen was treated at the hospital Aug. 18.
    According to court records, Hagen said she had had a miscarriage in her
    apartment the day before.

    Hagen told hospital staff that she had the miscarriage around 11 a.m. and,
    after cutting the umbilical cord with scissors, flushed the fetus down the
    toilet.

    After receiving permission from Hagen to enter her apartment, Hudson police
    found dried blood in the bathroom and other rags and towels that appeared to
    have blood on them. Officers then found the baby in the closet.

    A St. Croix County medical examiner was called to the scene and confirmed that
    the baby, who appeared to be close to or at full term, was dead. The body was
    taken to the Ramsey County medical examiner for the autopsy.

    Hagen, according to court records, told a Hudson investigator that she was not
    aware she was pregnant and believed the stomach cramps and pain she was
    experiencing that Sunday might have been due to food poisoning.

    Hagen said her roommate and her boyfriend were around on Sunday and knew she
    wasn't feeling well, but she was alone at the time of the birth. When her
    boyfriend came to the door to check on her, she told him she had the flu and to
    go away.

    Her boyfriend said Hagen never told him she was pregnant. Friends told him that
    she began missing her menstrual cycle in December and suspected she was
    pregnant, according to court records.

    http://www.twincities.com/mld/twinci...al/7257092.htm




  • #2
    Woman, 21, charged in baby's death

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] (J.)
    writes:
    Wisconsin has a Safe Haven law, as does Minnesota, which is just across theriver from Hudson, Wisconsin.J.
    And, I should add, neither has particularly onerous laws regarding
    relinquishment for adoption. In fact, she could have crossed the bridge and
    entered the offices of at least one adoption agency I know of and taken
    advantage of the Putative Father Registry laws here, to boot. She wouldn't
    have been the first to do so.

    J.




    Comment


    • #3
      Woman, 21, charged in baby's death

      [email protected] (J.) wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
      In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] (J.) writes:
      Wisconsin has a Safe Haven law, as does Minnesota, which is just across theriver from Hudson, Wisconsin.J.
      And, I should add, neither has particularly onerous laws regarding relinquishment for adoption. In fact, she could have crossed the bridge and entered the offices of at least one adoption agency I know of and taken advantage of the Putative Father Registry laws here, to boot. She wouldn't have been the first to do so. J.
      If she didn't realise she was pregnant (nor did her boyfriend) she
      would hardly be seeking an adoption agency, and if the baby dies in
      childbirth it's a bit late in the day to require a safe haven for it.
      Whatsmore the injuries the baby sustained are in keeping with a
      difficult labor. In fact, IMHO, the new SH laws, as they stand, would
      incite any women to try to hide the body of a stilbirth lest she be
      charged with murder. If it weren't for those SH laws she possibly
      would have taken the dead baby to the hospital instead of trying to
      hide it.

      At this point, the most she is guilty of concealing a body because
      many babies die within seconds, minutes, hours of taking their first
      breath through sheer distress and shock after a complicated delivery.
      Even in hospital.

      So I'd call this a SH backfire. I'd even go so far as to suggest that
      the laws
      that treating childbirth as an act of murder if the baby dies (making
      the womb a lethal weapon) is the underlying cause of why so many dead
      babies get dumped
      in the US.

      I don't believe any other country but the US puts women on trial for
      murder if her baby dies at or soon after birth. No matter where a
      woman gives birth she should be able to feel safe and free enough to
      be able to call a hospital
      to let them know her baby didn't survive chldbirth, without any legal
      reprisals. Maybe its those laws that need looking into. Maybe then you
      wouldn't need SH laws that don't work anyway.

      Di



      Di

      Comment


      • #4
        Woman, 21, charged in baby's death


        "Dian" <[email protected]> wrote in message
        news:[email protected] om...
        [email protected] (J.) wrote in message
        news:<[email protected]>...
        In article <[email protected]>,
        [email protected] (J.)
        writes:
        Wisconsin has a Safe Haven law, as does Minnesota, which is just across
        the
        river from Hudson, Wisconsin.J. And, I should add, neither has particularly onerous laws regarding relinquishment for adoption. In fact, she could have crossed the bridge
        and
        entered the offices of at least one adoption agency I know of and taken advantage of the Putative Father Registry laws here, to boot. She
        wouldn't
        have been the first to do so. J. If she didn't realise she was pregnant (nor did her boyfriend) she would hardly be seeking an adoption agency, and if the baby dies in childbirth it's a bit late in the day to require a safe haven for it. Whatsmore the injuries the baby sustained are in keeping with a difficult labor. In fact, IMHO, the new SH laws, as they stand, would incite any women to try to hide the body of a stilbirth lest she be charged with murder. If it weren't for those SH laws she possibly would have taken the dead baby to the hospital instead of trying to hide it.
        That's one of the questions we've been looking at. So far, there's only
        anecdotal evidence, but it appears that girls and women are being charged
        much more heavily than in the past in states with SH laws. It's not unusual
        now to see capital murder charges, though they are usually pled down. There
        are also women going to prison in cases where the cause of death cannot be
        determined or it's disputed, but the prosecutor pushes for hard time just
        because he can. Sentences are also longer. Obviously, the belief is that
        since these laws are in place and doesn't "use" them, then the mother is
        depraved.
        At this point, the most she is guilty of concealing a body because many babies die within seconds, minutes, hours of taking their first breath through sheer distress and shock after a complicated delivery. Even in hospital.
        Exactly, and that's a misdemeanor. Some states also have laws against
        concealing a birth, but again the penalty is a misdemeanor. People don't
        usually go to jail for that and can end up with a fine and/or community
        service.
        So I'd call this a SH backfire. I'd even go so far as to suggest that the laws that treating childbirth as an act of murder if the baby dies (making the womb a lethal weapon) is the underlying cause of why so many dead babies get dumped in the US.
        Excellent Di! I love the idea of womb as lethal weapon! This ties in with
        the movement to send women to prison who do not seek prenatal care or abuse
        drugs or alcohol during pregnancy, thus causing a stillborn or disabled live
        birth. Of course, this discourages any woman on drugs, for instance, from
        seeking prenatal care--or even rehab while pregnant--knowing that she can be
        turned into the police--even to the point of being held in jail for "child
        endangerment" while pregnant, and after the birth, having the baby removed
        from her custody on the same charge. Today it's Jim Beam or Marlboros,
        tomorrow it can be working while pregnant, jogging, or whatever else the
        fetus worshippers decide is outside of women's "role" as mother. This is a
        horrible situation and getting worse.
        I don't believe any other country but the US puts women on trial for murder if her baby dies at or soon after birth. No matter where a woman gives birth she should be able to feel safe and free enough to be able to call a hospital to let them know her baby didn't survive chldbirth, without any legal reprisals. Maybe its those laws that need looking into. Maybe then you wouldn't need SH laws that don't work anyway.
        There is a growing threat to all pregnant women that they can be charged
        criminally if they miscarry or have a stillbirth. All it will take is one
        busybody. This is already being discussed seriously with the upcoming
        Ehlert case coming before the Illinois Supreme Court and has been discussed
        widely in the IL media.

        Marley
        Di Di

        Comment


        • #5
          Woman, 21, charged in baby's death

          In article <[email protected] >,
          [email protected] (Dian) writes:
          [email protected] (J.) wrote in messagenews:<[email protected]>...(J.)
          writes:
          Wisconsin has a Safe Haven law, as does Minnesota, which is just across
          the
          river from Hudson, Wisconsin.J. And, I should add, neither has particularly onerous laws regarding relinquishment for adoption. In fact, she could have crossed the bridge
          and
          entered the offices of at least one adoption agency I know of and taken advantage of the Putative Father Registry laws here, to boot. She wouldn't have been the first to do so. J.
          If she didn't realise she was pregnant (nor did her boyfriend) shewould hardly be seeking an adoption agency, and if the baby dies inchildbirth it's a bit late in the day to require a safe haven for it.
          That's the "if", all right. The article reports that she had told friends she
          suspected she was pregnant. That she claimed to have flushed the fetus down
          the toilet, when what appears to have been a full term baby was lying dead in
          her apartment is a pretty ****ing bit of evidence, if true. So is the evidence
          of head trauma and possible asphyxiation. While I don't know what happened in
          that apartment that day, I do know the area reasonably well. The hospital at
          which she was seen the following day is only minutes from her home. The charge
          of reckless homicide may be a gift.

          Whatsmore the injuries the baby sustained are in keeping with adifficult labor. In fact, IMHO, the new SH laws, as they stand, wouldincite any women to try to hide the body of a stilbirth lest she becharged with murder. If it weren't for those SH laws she possiblywould have taken the dead baby to the hospital instead of trying tohide it.
          Perhaps. But you have to remember that the SH laws are exceptions only to the
          laws which make abandonment a crime.
          At this point, the most she is guilty of concealing a body becausemany babies die within seconds, minutes, hours of taking their firstbreath through sheer distress and shock after a complicated delivery.Even in hospital.
          Absent a plea agreement, we'll have to wait for a jury to determine what she is
          or isn't guilty of. Sounds to me, however, as if the prosecutor has a
          reasonable case.
          So I'd call this a SH backfire. I'd even go so far as to suggest thatthe lawsthat treating childbirth as an act of murder if the baby dies (makingthe womb a lethal weapon) is the underlying cause of why so many deadbabies get dumpedin the US.
          Interesting thought. I don't have the data to argue it, either way.

          I don't believe any other country but the US puts women on trial formurder if her baby dies at or soon after birth. No matter where awoman gives birth she should be able to feel safe and free enough tobe able to call a hospitalto let them know her baby didn't survive chldbirth, without any legalreprisals. Maybe its those laws that need looking into. Maybe then youwouldn't need SH laws that don't work anyway.
          Maybe. Panic might explain her actions. Given the reported inconsistencies in
          her story, however, I think the prosecutor is acting responsibly here.

          J.

          Di



          Comment


          • #6
            Woman, 21, charged in baby's death

            "Marley Greiner" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
            There is a growing threat to all pregnant women that they can be charged criminally if they miscarry or have a stillbirth. All it will take is one busybody. This is already being discussed seriously with the upcoming Ehlert case coming before the Illinois Supreme Court and has been discussed widely in the IL media.
            Yes, and in the Ehlert case (along with some other cases where women
            have been charged with infanticide or homicide) the fact that the
            woman has had a previous abortion has been used against her. My
            suspicion is that the SH states might capitalize on this tactic by
            pointing out that SH would have ensured the woman's anonymity and that
            any woman who has had an abortion has already demonstrated depravity
            (as was suggested by one anti-choice columnist).

            I am really, really considering that tubal ligation.

            L.

            Comment


            • #7
              Woman, 21, charged in baby's death

              "Marley Greiner" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
              "Dian" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected] om...
              [email protected] (J.) wrote in message
              news:<[email protected]>...
              In article <[email protected]>,
              [email protected] (J.)
              writes: >Wisconsin has a Safe Haven law, as does Minnesota, which is just across
              the
              >river from Hudson, Wisconsin. > >J. > And, I should add, neither has particularly onerous laws regarding relinquishment for adoption. In fact, she could have crossed the bridge
              and
              entered the offices of at least one adoption agency I know of and taken advantage of the Putative Father Registry laws here, to boot. She
              wouldn't
              have been the first to do so. J. If she didn't realise she was pregnant (nor did her boyfriend) she would hardly be seeking an adoption agency, and if the baby dies in childbirth it's a bit late in the day to require a safe haven for it. Whatsmore the injuries the baby sustained are in keeping with a difficult labor. In fact, IMHO, the new SH laws, as they stand, would incite any women to try to hide the body of a stilbirth lest she be charged with murder. If it weren't for those SH laws she possibly would have taken the dead baby to the hospital instead of trying to hide it.
              That's one of the questions we've been looking at. So far, there's only anecdotal evidence, but it appears that girls and women are being charged much more heavily than in the past in states with SH laws.
              It's not unusual
              now to see capital murder charges, though they are usually pled down. There are also women going to prison in cases where the cause of death cannot be determined or it's disputed, but the prosecutor pushes for hard time just because he can. Sentences are also longer. Obviously, the belief is that since these laws are in place and doesn't "use" them, then the mother is depraved.
              It's archaic madness. In the occasional case that's happened here the
              mother was usually given therapy and the judge has made mention of how
              pointless a prison term would be under such circumstances because she
              has to live with herself and what she has done to her own child. Some
              judges realise that there are some actions where the mind is its own
              purgatory. Given the rarity of such cases here proves that punishment
              is not a deterrant. If anything it would prevent women from seeking
              immediate help.
              At this point, the most she is guilty of concealing a body because many babies die within seconds, minutes, hours of taking their first breath through sheer distress and shock after a complicated delivery. Even in hospital. Exactly, and that's a misdemeanor. Some states also have laws against concealing a birth, but again the penalty is a misdemeanor. People don't usually go to jail for that and can end up with a fine and/or community service.
              As it should be. Although therapy would be the more appropriate
              action.
              So I'd call this a SH backfire. I'd even go so far as to suggest that the laws that treating childbirth as an act of murder if the baby dies (making the womb a lethal weapon) is the underlying cause of why so many dead babies get dumped in the US. Excellent Di! I love the idea of womb as lethal weapon!
              It's just how I see it. How can a woman be charged with murdering her
              baby if childbirth killed it. Tell them to take it up with God.

              This ties in with
              the movement to send women to prison who do not seek prenatal care or abuse drugs or alcohol during pregnancy, thus causing a stillborn or disabled live birth. Of course, this discourages any woman on drugs, for instance, from seeking prenatal care--or even rehab while pregnant--knowing that she can be turned into the police--even to the point of being held in jail for "child endangerment" while pregnant, and after the birth, having the baby removed from her custody on the same charge. Today it's Jim Beam or Marlboros, tomorrow it can be working while pregnant, jogging, or whatever else the fetus worshippers decide is outside of women's "role" as mother. This is a horrible situation and getting worse.
              A prime case of the chicken or the egg. Women need to feel safe when
              they're pregnant. Put her under threat of having her child removed
              from her and you have lost any chance of her trusting anyone enough to
              teach her how to take responsiblity for any antenatal care of herself
              and the baby. It's foolish mismanagement. You don't get anyone to get
              off drugs by inducing fear and high anxiety in them.
              I don't believe any other country but the US puts women on trial for murder if her baby dies at or soon after birth. No matter where a woman gives birth she should be able to feel safe and free enough to be able to call a hospital to let them know her baby didn't survive chldbirth, without any legal reprisals. Maybe its those laws that need looking into. Maybe then you wouldn't need SH laws that don't work anyway. There is a growing threat to all pregnant women that they can be charged criminally if they miscarry or have a stillbirth.
              All it will take is one
              busybody. This is already being discussed seriously with the upcoming Ehlert case coming before the Illinois Supreme Court and has been discussed widely in the IL media.
              Jees! As if a women suffering a stilbirth or miscarriage isn't feel
              lousy enough without these space cadets coming at her from behind.
              Where did common
              sense go?

              Di





              Marley
              Di Di

              Comment


              • #8
                Woman, 21, charged in baby's death

                [email protected] (J.) wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
                In article <[email protected] >, [email protected] (Dian) writes:
                [email protected] (J.) wrote in messagenews:<[email protected]>...
                (J.)
                writes: >Wisconsin has a Safe Haven law, as does Minnesota, which is just across
                the
                >river from Hudson, Wisconsin. > >J. > And, I should add, neither has particularly onerous laws regarding relinquishment for adoption. In fact, she could have crossed the bridge
                and
                entered the offices of at least one adoption agency I know of and taken advantage of the Putative Father Registry laws here, to boot. She wouldn't have been the first to do so. J.If she didn't realise she was pregnant (nor did her boyfriend) shewould hardly be seeking an adoption agency, and if the baby dies inchildbirth it's a bit late in the day to require a safe haven for it.
                That's the "if", all right. The article reports that she had told friends she suspected she was pregnant. That she claimed to have flushed the fetus down the toilet, when what appears to have been a full term baby was lying dead in her apartment is a pretty ****ing bit of evidence, if true. So is the evidence of head trauma and possible asphyxiation. While I don't know what happened in that apartment that day, I do know the area reasonably well. The hospital at which she was seen the following day is only minutes from her home. The charge of reckless homicide may be a gift.
                Whatsmore the injuries the baby sustained are in keeping with adifficult labor. In fact, IMHO, the new SH laws, as they stand, wouldincite any women to try to hide the body of a stilbirth lest she becharged with murder. If it weren't for those SH laws she possiblywould have taken the dead baby to the hospital instead of trying tohide it.
                Perhaps. But you have to remember that the SH laws are exceptions only to the laws which make abandonment a crime.
                At this point, the most she is guilty of concealing a body becausemany babies die within seconds, minutes, hours of taking their firstbreath through sheer distress and shock after a complicated delivery.Even in hospital.
                Absent a plea agreement, we'll have to wait for a jury to determine what she is or isn't guilty of. Sounds to me, however, as if the prosecutor has a reasonable case.
                So I'd call this a SH backfire. I'd even go so far as to suggest thatthe lawsthat treating childbirth as an act of murder if the baby dies (makingthe womb a lethal weapon) is the underlying cause of why so many deadbabies get dumpedin the US.
                Interesting thought. I don't have the data to argue it, either way.
                I don't believe any other country but the US puts women on trial formurder if her baby dies at or soon after birth. No matter where awoman gives birth she should be able to feel safe and free enough tobe able to call a hospitalto let them know her baby didn't survive chldbirth, without any legalreprisals. Maybe its those laws that need looking into. Maybe then youwouldn't need SH laws that don't work anyway.
                Maybe. Panic might explain her actions. Given the reported inconsistencies in her story, however, I think the prosecutor is acting responsibly here. J.
                Di
                I suppose time will tell.

                Di

                Comment


                • #9
                  Update: Woman, 21, charged in baby's death

                  Posted on Wed, Nov. 26, 2003

                  RICHLAND CENTER, WIS.: Judge won't dismiss charges in newborn's death
                  BY TODD RICHMOND
                  Associated Press

                  RICHLAND CENTER, Wis. — A judge Tuesday refused to dismiss charges of
                  reckless homicide and hiding a corpse against a woman accused of letting her
                  newborn baby die and hiding the body in a storage bin.

                  But Richland County Circuit Judge Edward Leineweber put off ruling on
                  prosecutors' motion to admit evidence related an the earlier death of another
                  infant prosecutors say Kristin Scott also secretly gave birth to and concealed
                  in a storage bin.

                  District Attorney Andrew Sharp wanted to admit testimony at trial that Scott
                  covered up both pregnancies and drank as much as a 12-pack of beer a night
                  while carrying the second child because she was planning to kill the baby or
                  let it die to avoid the repercussions.

                  "It just sheds light on what her intent toward the child was," Sharp said.

                  Scott's attorney, Rose Oliveto, countered the testimony amounts to a character
                  attack and as such is inadmissible under state statutes.

                  Leineweber set Scott's trial date for Feb. 23, moving a case that shocked
                  Richland County this past summer closer to a resolution.

                  Scott's parents called police in June after they discovered the remains of a
                  baby in a storage tub she left at their house in Byrd's Creek days after she
                  moved to Texas.

                  Prosecutors said she confessed to secretly giving birth in January to a baby
                  girl at her parents' house. They said she didn't attend to the baby and let it
                  die, although she was a trained nursing assistant.

                  Prosecutors also said Scott confessed to secretly giving birth to a stillborn
                  baby at her parents' home in April 2001 and carrying that baby around in a
                  plastic storage tub.

                  Scott was charged in the death of the baby prosecutors say she delivered in
                  January. She also faces a charge of concealing the death of the stillborn baby
                  in 2001. Leineweber did not rule on Oliveto's request to dismiss the
                  concealment charge.

                  Oliveto unsuccessfully argued Tuesday that Leineweber should dismiss the
                  reckless homicide charge because it demands an overt act. None of the state's
                  evidence shows Scott caused the baby girl's death, she said.

                  Sharp argued Scott's inaction was grounds enough for the charge.

                  "She was responsible for the child," Sharp said.

                  Leineweber agreed, saying a failure to act can create the risk of great bodily
                  harm or death.

                  Oliveto argued the charge of hiding a corpse should be thrown out, too.
                  Prosecutors haven't shown any evidence that Scott was trying to avoid
                  detection, she said. Leineweber disagreed.

                  "Anyone knows it's wrong for a mother to do that," the judge said.

                  The attorneys spent most of the daylong hearing sparring over whether evidence
                  connected to the deaths of both babies should be admitted at trial.

                  According to court filings, the father of the baby born in 2001 said Scott lied
                  to him throughout the pregnancy. Sharp said she told the father the wrong due
                  dates, that the baby was in the hospital and then told him she was never
                  pregnant.

                  The father of the second child said Scott denied she was pregnant and drank
                  with him on a regular basis, Sharp said.

                  One of Scott's co-workers at Ernie's Bar & Grill said Scott drank with him six
                  nights a week, sometimes as much as a 12-pack of beer in one night, according
                  to court filings.

                  The court filings also point to Scott's confession to police, during which she
                  said the pregnancies would have caused problems and that she drank to convince
                  people she wasn't pregnant.

                  Sharp said the evidence establishes a pattern of behavior.

                  Oliveto bristled at that.

                  "There isn't any plan or scheme," she said. "These are two separate
                  pregnancies, two periods of time far apart."

                  Leineweber said he would rule on admitting the evidence by Feb. 11.

                  He handed an outline to the attorneys indicating he was leaning toward barring
                  evidence that showed Scott drank and didn't seek prenatal care.

                  The judge also rejected Oliveto's request to move Scott's trial to a different
                  county. Oliveto had argued publicity about the case was overwhelming and
                  prejudicial. The judge said the coverage has been accurate and a jury doesn't
                  need to be ignorant of all the facts to render an impartial verdict.

                  http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/7350527.htm



                  Comment

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