Trial Begins for Woman Who Left Baby in a Dumpster Back in 2017

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Trial Begins for Woman Who Left Baby in a Dumpster Back in 2017
Credit: kvue.com

Update 4/13: Judge declares mistrial on day 4 after hours of jury deadlock.

Back in October of 2017 on the 25th, a homeless man, Dwayne Bouie, was dumpster diving at the Mira Vista Apartments where he found a new born baby girl with the umbilical cord still attached. She was found at 7 a.m. in the dumpster, as temperatures were dropping to around 51 degrees.  She was still alive, yet was in serious critical condition. A 911 call was what saved her life as she was rushed to Dell Children’s Medical Center for treatment.

Althea Johnson / kvue.com

Police had identified the mother the day after the baby was found. Investigators discovered which apartment it came from after finding a trail of blood from the dumpster leading to one of the apartments. Althea Johnson, 27, was arrested that following Tuesday on a charge of abandoning a child.

According to reports Althea Johnson was aware that her baby was alive. After giving birth she saw her babies eyes open. Instead of calling 911 or reaching out to anyone else, she took matters into her own hands. Johnson had admitted to the police that she placed the baby there  after originally leaving her in the bushes.

Johnson first appeared in court in February of 2018. Her bond was cut in half from $60,000 to $30,000, but she remained in jail. Fast forward to this week Johnson’s trial continues, and she is set to take the stand. The jury was selected on Monday and the trial began Tuesday.

In State Attorney Kathleen Morgan’s opening statement, she stated; “The evidence, in this case, will show that Althea Johnson concealed her pregnancy. She didn’t want anyone to know.”..”In the early hours of a cold October morning, she gave birth alone in her bathroom. She knew the baby was alive. She saw her eyes open, saw her mouth open, but before she’d make a sound before she cried, Althea Johnson got one of her dresses and wrapped her up and took her outside. She made the choice to start walking, and with each step, she chose to go towards the dumpster.”

Krist Chacona, Johnson’s defensive attorney, made it clear in her opening statement that was only half the story. She said, “Althea Johnson unexpectedly gave birth, because she did not know that she was pregnant,” she continued to the jury, “ladies, I know. That is hard to believe. But, expect you will hear expert testimony to tell you that not only is that possible, but it’s not as uncommon as you think.”

Thursday, two witnesses who were former roommates of Johnson’s took the stand on Thursday to testify in the case. They talked about who she was, her character, and whether or not she knew she was pregnant. 

If the jury finds Johnson guilty of child abandonment she faces up to 20 years in prison.

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