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14 Year Old Mother Murders Newborn

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

ST. PAUL: Mom, 14, charged with murder
Pioneer Press

A 14-year-old St. Paul girl accused of strangling her newborn daughter last week and leaving the body in a shoebox was charged Monday with second-degree murder. She could land in adult court if a judge agrees to a prosecution request to remove her from juvenile proceedings.

Ramsey County prosecutors portray the girl as both victim and offender. Her 22-year-old boyfriend, a man who lived with her family for five years, was charged Friday with having sex with her since she was 12. With Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner now pushing the case toward adult court, the girl could soon face public scrutiny without the laws that have so far shielded her identity and details of the alleged crime.

Gaertner would not comment on the case, citing prickly legal issues of juvenile confidentiality. The girl made a brief appearance Monday before Ramsey County District Judge John B. Van de North. A hearing is scheduled for Nov. 4 on whether the girl should be certified as an adult. She is being held in a juvenile detention center.

"You seldom see a case where the perpetrator of an offense is also a victim under these circumstances," said Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom, who heads a national juvenile law committee. "It's an unusual case. And it's never an easy decision for a prosecutor to certify a child as an adult."

Sending a child to adult court, which brings longer sentences and harsher prison conditions, is typically more controversial for offenders under 16. Gaertner has successfully prosecuted at least two other adolescents as adults in murder cases.

Jerry Vang, 14 when he was arrested, was sentenced to life in prison in 2001 for killing a neighborhood rival and wounding the victim's brother in a drive-by shooting. In 1997, Joanna Rivera was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the fatal shooting of a Vietnam War veteran in a botched mugging on the West Side. Rivera, a runaway who later accused her stepfather of sexual abuse, and two accomplices were all 14 at the time of the murder.

The 14-year-old girl charged with killing her newborn is undoubtedly a victim, said Nancy Nelson, executive director of the Minnesota Organization on Adolescent Pregnancy, Prevention and Parenting. Nelson questioned whether the girl "should be held responsible for something she did out of complete desperation." She said pregnant adolescents are frequently victims of sexual abuse and are sometimes in denial about their pregnancies.

"The tragedy is that there was no adult in her life who noticed that there was something that had changed in this girl," Nelson said. "She didn't feel safe enough to reach out to anybody. The community failed her."

Paramedics went to the home at 1657 Barclay St. on a medical call about 6 p.m. Thursday and found the 14-year-old complaining of abdominal pain. Paramedics checked her vital signs and determined her condition was not life-threatening. The girl's mother agreed to take her to the hospital for further examination, police said.

The girl went to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, where a doctor determined she recently had given birth.

The girl then admitted killing her newborn daughter by tying a sock around her neck and placing her in a shoebox in her bedroom, police said.

St. Paul police and paramedics returned to the East Side home to look for the baby about 7 p.m. Thursday. They found the full-term baby dead inside the box in the bedroom. The Ramsey County medical examiner's office ruled the death a homicide by strangulation.

The girl's boyfriend, identified as Marvin Alex Alvizurez, also was arrested and charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Do you think this girl is mainly a crime victim or is she an offender who should be tried in adult court?
post #2 of 14
I think it is very sad. She may not have learned about her options especially regarding birth control, after having a 22 year old "boyfriend" who was probably just using her for one thing.

It really is a tragedy for the whole family.
post #3 of 14
Although the sexual relationship she was in is undoubtedly inappropriate and indeed criminal on his part (statutory rape), I would suspect it was consensual on her part. I'm sorry, but at 14 you know that strangling a baby is not right, no matter how it came to be. Is she a victim? Perhaps, but that doesn't mean she is any less accountable for her actions.
post #4 of 14
This is very tragic. As the article reads, it is pretty difficult to call the girl just a victim or just an offender.

On one hand, obviously she was terrified and must have felt she had no options, was desperate and not thinking rationally. On the other hand, she didn't just leave the baby somewhere to die - she actively killed her. The baby was full term and healthy when born.

I am appalled by the fact that her 22 year old boyfriend had been living with the family and sleeping with her since she was 12 - were her parents condoning the sexual relationship and basically allowing her to be molested by an adult under their roof? If they did condone it, how on earth could they not have made sure she was on birth control? Maybe they didn't know about the relationship?

Also, if she was still sleeping with the boyfriend, how could he not have noticed a full term pregnancy? I can see concealing under clothing, but it would be pretty tough to hide in an intimate situation. If he did know about it and did nothing to help her out, IMO he shares responsibility for the tragic outcome.
post #5 of 14
I'm on the fence at this point on this one. There are some holes in the story that would help decide. Where was the boyfriend when she delivered? Did he know she was pregnant? Where were her parents during the birth? I just feel like there are things going on we don't know about at this point and that makes it hard to make a call.

I DO think that the man involved should be held responsible to the fullest extent of the law. Couldn't he be charged with reckless endangerment or something in addition to the sexual charges? I think her parents belong in that reckless endangerment boat too. They could be found of child sexual abuse in my state if they knew this was going on.
post #6 of 14
This one is too close to where i live
it's very tragic
post #7 of 14
I know what you mean, Chelle.
post #8 of 14
There was an update to this story in today's Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

14-year-old to be tried as juvenile in death of her newborn baby
Paul Gustafson, Star Tribune

Published November 5, 2003 BABY05

A 14-year-old St. Paul girl charged with intentional second-degree murder in the death of her newborn baby will not be tried as an adult, Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner said Tuesday.

Earlier, Gaertner's office filed a motion seeking to try the girl as an adult, but that request was amended Tuesday during a closed hearing in juvenile court.

Instead, Gaertner said, prosecutors have asked that the girl be tried as an extended-jurisdiction juvenile. If the girl is convicted she would remain in the juvenile justice system but could face an adult prison sentence if she fails to meet the conditions of her sentence.

At Tuesday's hearing, Ramsey County District Judge Louise Bjorkman gave defense attorneys more time to obtain a second psychological study. The next hearing in the girl's case is expected to occur later this month.

Gaertner, who has been criticized for seeking to try the girl as an adult, said her office had to file the motion in 10 days to have the girl stand trial as an adult or lose that option.

Filing the motion enabled prosecutors to obtain information about the girl that convinced them not to try her as an adult, she said.

"We didn't know anything about the girl. Without information, you can't make a sound decision about what's in the best interests of public safety or the child," Gaertner said.

The girl, an eighth-grader, gave birth in her bedroom and allegedly strangled and hid the baby in a shoe box Oct. 2. The girl's name is not being released because she is a minor.

She had not told her parents she was pregnant, police said. But the excessive bleeding that followed her delivery prompted her parents to call the paramedics, who recommended the girl be taken to a hospital.

The girl initially denied giving birth but admitted to what had occurred after her parents took her to Regions Hospital in St. Paul.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quoted from the article
instead, Gaertner said, prosecutors have asked that the girl be tried as an extended-jurisdiction juvenile. If the girl is convicted she would remain in the juvenile justice system but could face an adult prison sentence if she fails to meet the conditions of her sentence.
This sounds reasonable to me. Suzy, thank you so much for posting the update.
post #10 of 14
Thanks for the update, I had heard the story on
the news but didn't hear anything else on it

This kids having babies and then disposing of them
is seeming to be turning into a trend that is so sad and
completely preventable.

A lot of hospitals now because of all the baby killings
that young girls have done after giving birth,
now let you drop off the baby with no questions
asked. They will take care of it and place it
up for adoption.

On another note
At 14 i'm sure she knew killing a baby was wrong!
May you rest in Peace little one.
post #11 of 14
This article was in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune a few days ago:

St. Paul girl accused of killing newborn pleads guilty
Terry Collins, Star Tribune
Published December 20, 2003

A 14-year-old St. Paul girl charged with killing her newborn baby and hiding the body in a shoebox under her bed pleaded guilty on Friday to second-degree murder.

The teenager, whose name was not released because she is a minor, will remain in secure custody until at least her 19th birthday, said Ramsey County District Court Judge Louise Bjorkman.

The Ramsey County Attorney's office initially had wanted to try the girl as an adult, but the judge decided that her case should be handled in juvenile court.

The girl was placed in juvenile detention Friday, said Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner.

"This case is tragic. An innocent person lost its life, and this young girl's life is changed forever," Gaertner said. "A tragedy all the way around."

The eighth-grader gave birth on Oct. 2 in her bedroom. She was accused of strangling the infant girl and putting her in a shoe box. She was charged with intentional second-degree murder.

The Ramsey County medical examiner later ruled the infant's death a homicide by strangulation. The teenager initially denied her pregnancy, but admitted it after her parents took her to Regions Hospital in St. Paul.

She later told investigators that she had a relationship with the baby's father, Marvin Alex Alvizurez, a 22-year-old family friend who lived in her home. He told police he had been having sexual relations with the girl since she was 12.

Alvizurez, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala, is being held at the Ramsey County jail on first-degree criminal sexual conduct and immigration violations.
post #12 of 14
this is soooo sad and really hard for me to read being someone that WANTS a baby. At 14 you know right from wrong. Even if she did not want the baby she could have easily turned it over to someone else and been in alot less trouble then what she is going to be in know. I think that the family and the man that got her pregant need to punished and she needs conceling big time.
post #13 of 14
inside of a human body is still legal, it doesn't suprise me that teens are deciding this is just a cheap form of abortion. I mean really what's the difference between murdering a child inside of stomach or a gunny sack (both hide the baby) or the next step, killing it once it sees daylight. Children are confused. The lines between legal abortion and murdering a baby are so blurred, that the teens are making their own definition. They see that society says it is perfectly acceptable to kill a child that is ALMOST ready to be born, and yet this same government will brand a person a murderer for killing the child when the only real difference is that state sanctioned murder is o.k because the baby isn't outside the mother and the doctors/hospitals are making money, whereas if a person kills a newborn (which in reality could be the same age as a third trimester baby in a womb if it is born early enough)the baby is already born and NO one will make money if the child is killed. Kind of hypocritical if you ask me.

They had a story about a baby boy born that weighed less than a pound and survived, so all this nonsense about abortion being o.k because the baby isn't really a baby but a fetus and cannot survive outside the mother's womb is total crap! Maybe when we as a society start valuing human life (whether it is already born or YET to be born) our young adults will see this committment and value and start to follow suit.

It is funny though, how everyone reacts with shock when a mother kills a newborn, but yet chant the pro-choice montra when it comes to legal abortion. Both result in dead babies.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
catlover67, I do understand what you're saying, however, in this case the girl's parents apparently never even realized she was pregnant, and she didn't have any other adults she could turn to for advice and support. I really think she completely freaked out once the baby was born and killed it.

When my sisters and I were teenagers, my mother talked to all of us individually about teenage pregnancies and told us that we could talk to her about it if it ever happened to us. Even if it meant that the baby would be put up for adoption, it was reassuring(sp?) to know we could turn to our parents. FYI: My family never had to actually deal with this.

I think too many pregnant teenagers feel too alone and isolated, and that their lives would be forever ruined if they had a baby. And very unfortunately, another dead newborn was recently found about 20 miles from where I live.
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