A Nebraska teen admitted to throwing her premature newborn out of a window after she secretly gave birth in the middle of the night, killing the child, the Mirror reports.
The Omaha World-Herald reports Lopez admitted this week in court to throwing the baby out the second-story window in a panic. The baby was born prematurely and weighed about 2 pounds, according to authorities.
The county attorney’s office initially charged Lopez as an adult, but moved her case to juvenile court this week after taking her mental state and lack of a criminal record into consideration, the report states.
“It wasn’t a planned-out, thought-out process. It was more of a panicked reaction,” Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine told the newspaper.
The incident occurred last September. Lopez reportedly kept the pregnancy a secret from her family.
Police said Lopez initially told them she did not know she was pregnant, but they later found evidence on her cell phone that she knew she was, according to the reports. Authorities said Lopez’s boyfriend also told them she knew she was pregnant.
According to authorities, she gave birth in her bedroom in the middle of the night.
Here’s more from the Mirror:
While she was in a labour she sent several text messages and a Snapchat photo to her boyfriend, the Omaha World-Herald reports.
One message sent just before 1am read: “Baby I’m having contractions in my lower abs every couple seconds. It hurts so much.” Five minutes later she told him she was in “so much pain” and then a minute later said she wanted it to “stop”.
Shortly after 2.20am she wrote: “It was a girl by the way.”
Lopez, who had been pregnant for about seven months, later asked for help to hide the baby, which was about 14in long.
Authorities said Lopez later told her mother what she had done, and the mother found the baby and called 911.
If Lopez had been charged as an adult, she could have faced 20 years to life in prison, according to the county attorney’s office. As a juvenile, she could receive probation or rehabilitation in a group home or detention facility, according to authorities.
These tragic situations expose a need for greater awareness of safe haven laws. All 50 states have save haven laws that allow mothers in crisis to leave their newborns in a safe environment, such as a hospital or fire station, without questions or repercussions. These laws have saved hundreds of babies, including the life of pro-life advocate Monica Kelsey, whose mother left her at a safe haven when she was a baby.
If you or someone you know would like more information about relinquishing a newborn child, please call 1-877-796-HOPE or go to www.SafeHavenLaw.com.