District Attorney Hoovler Announces Guilty Plea
In Assault of Newborn
Mother Pleads Guilty to Assault in the First Degree for Abandoning Newborn
in Toilet of Motel-Room
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced that on Thursday, April 25, 2019, Teresa Smith, 23, pleaded guilty to Assault in the First Degree, before Orange County Court Judge Craig Stephen Brown in connection with Smith having abandoned her newborn baby in the toilet bowl of a motel room she had occupied.
On November 1, 2018, motel workers at the Budget Inn Motel, located at 5202 Route 9W in the Town of Newburgh, discovered blood, other bodily fluids and soiled clothes in the room and immediately contacted the police. Officers from the Town of Newburgh Police Department discovered the baby in the toilet bowl, and immediately rendered first aid. The baby was rushed to the hospital and survived. Prosecutors argued that moments after having given birth to the child found in a toilet bowl of her motel room, Smith wholly abandoned the child, leaving him in a toilet bowl, and left the room. Prosecutors argued that Smith had no intent to return or care for the child as she left the motel.
Pursuant to the plea agreement placed on the record at the time she pleaded guilty, the District Attorney’s Office will recommend that Smith be sentenced to fifteen years in state prison, and five years post-release supervision, when she is sentenced on June 18, 2019. The judge stated that he would sentence Smith to no more than twelve years in state prison and five years post-release supervision. At the time that Smith pleaded guilty, she admitted that her actions in abandoning the newborn baby in the toilet bowl, and leaving the motel room, caused serious physical injury to the infant which created a substantial risk of death.
District Attorney Hoovler thanked the Town of Newburgh Police Department for their rescue of the infant, their investigation and the arrest of Smith.
“Infants are the most innocent of victims,” said District Attorney David Hoovler. “We can only hope that there are no long-lasting physical effects which will be suffered by the victim in this case. It is hard to comprehend what could drive any mother to intend to harm her own baby by abandoning him under these circumstances. I am grateful to the Town of Newburgh Police Department for their actions is saving the child’s life. My Office will continue to work with all our law enforcement partners in protecting children and will continue to seek severe punishment for all who commit violent crimes against defenseless infants and children.”
The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Christopher Kelly and Assistant District Attorney Jessica Dovico.
This criminal charge is merely an allegation that a defendant has committed a violation of the criminal law, and it is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the State of New York’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.