Insanity defense for babynapper?


Jessica Lewis

Lately, I have been obsessed with the story of the newborn baby who was kidnapped from her Missouri home. For anyone who missed this story, (where have you been?) Last week, a woman asking to use the phone, gained entry to the house where baby Abby lived, slashed the mother’s throat, and took the week old baby.

Yesterday, I read the news that the baby had been found. The suspect had reportedly given birth to a still born child the day of the abduction. Obviously this woman was in an extremely emotional state. I’m anxious to hear more news about this story. I want to know why the woman was released from the hospital so soon after giving birth. Did she check herself out against medical advice? If so why wasn’t someone notified? Why didn’t her husband or anyone in her family know she had given birth to a still born child? I don’t know what hospital policy would be in this situation. I know there are confidentiality issues, but it seems like someone should have known. The questions this story raises are endless.

Now I find myself wondering if the defense will use a temporary insanity defense. It seems like a very good possibility given the details leading up to the abduction, and I think in this instance it is appropriate. The actions this woman took are unforgivable, but the emotions of losing a child must be overwhelming. I know I’m going to be checking Court TV on a regular basis to hear about this one.

As a new mother, my heart went out to the mother of baby Abby and the rest of the family. I can’t imagine the horror and worry they must have gone through. I’m so glad this story had a happy ending.