An 18-year-old mother allegedly suffocated her just-born baby before taking his body with her on a shopping trip in New York City.
Tiona Rodriguez pleaded not guilty to the murder charge on Thursday. Prosecutors say she was arrested on a shoplifting charge at the Victoria’s Secret store in New York, and her newborn was found dead in a bag she was carrying. The shoplifting charge was later dropped.
Prosecutors also allege that Rodriguez intended to kill the infant for weeks and even sent a text message revealing plans to ‘dig a hole’ and ‘put it somewhere’.
However, during the hearing, Rodriguez’s term of pregnancy was still unclear. Defense lawyer Earl Ward says Rodriguez didn’t know she was pregnant and she had a stillbirth. Ward said the mother had acted out of confusion.
Police, on the other hand, believe Rodriguez gave birth in her friend’s home shortly before the shoplifting arrest.