Teenage Girl Charged with Criminal Homicide after Death of Newborn

Reports of violent incidents usually involve actions by adults. Although many people relate violent activities to adult actions, some of these accusations involve juveniles. In New Jersey, juvenile crimes are crimes committed by a person usually under the age of 18. Currently, a Pennsylvania teenage girl is facing criminal charges for the violent crime of homicide that have been reported by neighboring news media.

The teenage girl has been charged with the death of another person. Although the term criminal homicide is often used synonymously with circumstances involving premeditation, the term homicide has a broader definition than that. Under New Jersey law, criminal homicide occurs when a person recklessly, purposely or knowingly causes the death of another through various circumstances.

The teenage girl is being criminally charged for her newborn child’s death. The newborn child died from drowning earlier this year. The teenage girl was 16 at the time of the incident. The teenage girl gave birth to a 7 pound boy, who was determined to be healthy at the time of birth. It was reported the teenage girl allegedly brought the newborn child with her into a bathtub full of water, and when she got out she realized the newborn child had stopped breathing.

After the teenager realized the newborn child was not breathing, she wrapped the newborn child in a bedsheet and placed him in a trash receptacle. In addition to the criminal homicide charge, the teenager faces the charge for concealing the death. Prosecutors have charged the teenager as an adult and her attorney has requested the case be heard in juvenile court.

It is easy to judge the young girl when you hear a simply explanation of the incident, but think about being a 16-year-old child, alone with a newborn. Adult women ready to have children, who have read all the necessary books, have taken care of another’s child and have a huge support system free of judgment often struggle with how to take care of a newborn. Imagine now, that inexperienced and frightened 16-year-old girl realizing that she may have killed her own child. What would you do?

Source: njherald.com, “Pa. teen charged in newborn’s drowning death,” Apr 23, 2012