DA to seek death penalty against Amanda Hein
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against 27-year-old Amanda Hein, accused of giving birth in a bathroom stall and leaving her newborn baby to die back in August.
District Attorney John Morganelli says in the state of Pennsylvania, first degree murder or the intentional killing of any child younger than 12 years old is all that is needed to potentially seek the death penalty, but in the end he says it will ultimately be up to a jury to decide.
Investigators say Hein gave birth in a bathroom stall of Starter's Pub in Lower Saucon Township in August , wrapped the baby in a plastic bag and placed him in the toilet tank, leaving him to die.
"She may have been past the time for a legal abortion and that is somewhat speculation on my part although we're able to determine that she became aware that she was pregnant in May, she delivered this baby in August ... so we were pretty close to that time frame,” said Morganelli
Morganelli adds Hein told no one of her pregnancy and made no plans for the child's birth; behavior that he says shows Hein had planned to kill her baby.
"I think that it's going to be admitted that she was pregnant, that she gave birth in that stall that she in fact suffocated this baby and killed it. I think that what we're going to see in this case is some kind of mental health defense perhaps at best," he said.
Police have not identified the baby's father and Morganelli says he's “not sure that this defendant even knows who the father is.”
Hein will be evaluated by a psychiatrist and a psychologist.
The trial has been set for early April.
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