Lehigh Valley

Jury: Woman who left baby in Starters Pub guilty of 1st degree murder

Amanda Hein faces life in prison

Amanda Hein convicted of first degree murder

EASTON, Pa. - A woman who put her baby in a toilet tank was found guilty Thursday of first degree murder.

It took the seven men and five women on the jury more than two hours to convict Amanda Hein.

After hearing the verdict, her parents left the Northampton County Courthouse crying.

It was tough for the family to hear the details of what took place in the women's bathroom at Starters Pub in Lower Saucon Twp., Northampton Co., on Aug. 18, 2013.

While watching a pay-per-view event, Hein, 27, excused herself and went to the bathroom.

Hein testified that she gave birth to a baby, ripped the umbilical cord, placed the baby in a plastic bag and then placed the bag in a toilet tank.

Hein told the court she believed the baby was dead because it wasn't moving, wasn't breathing, and was grayish-brown in color.

The defense brought in expert witnesses to tell the court the baby was suffering from several ailments.

"We felt it was a panic situation, but obviously they felt differently," said Michael Corriere, Hein's attorney. "We respect their decision."

Prosecutors said Hein intended to kill the baby because she concealed the pregnancy and didn't call for help while in labor.

"This was an act of omission where she allowed the child to die," added Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli. "Did not get the child to a hospital because she intended not to have the baby."

Morganelli stood in front of the jury for a full minute during his closing argument to show the amount of time Amanda Hein had to call for help after giving birth.

A juror said it was time that was the deciding factor in the case.

"I think the time period that she spent convinced me," said Nancy Bowen. "The time period she spent in the bathroom."

Hein already pleaded guilty to a charge of general murder.

As part of that plea deal, the district attorney took the death penalty off the table in exchange for Hein giving up all rights to an appeal.

"I think it made sense now given the jury's verdict that at least we spared her that -- going to a capital case hearing," said Corriere.

"Life in prison without parole is a tough sentence and she will think about that baby the rest of her life and will die in prison," added Morganelli.


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