An ex-university student was sentenced to life in prison without parole on Monday 27 June for killing her newborn child in her sorority house. The 21-year-old was found guilty of a jury in May for killing the baby girl she gave birth to on 22 April 2015.
Emile Weaver was convicted of aggravated murder, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence. According to the Associated Press, Weaver gave birth to her daughter in the bathroom of her Delta Gamma Theta sorority house at Muskingum University and then threw the baby in the rubbish.
Prosecutors said the newborn died from asphyxiation after Weaver placed her in a plastic rubbish bag and abandoned her outside of the sorority house, the AP reported. They claimed Weaver knew she was pregnant and never intended to keep the baby. Weaver engaged in risky behaviour, including drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana and playing sports, prosecutors said.
Weaver told the court she was in denial about the pregnancy and believed the baby girl was dead when she put her in the bag. According to the AP, Weaver told Judge Mark Fleegle in a letter before her sentencing that she did not fully understand her actions until she stared at her baby, named Addision, in a small casket at her funeral. "I ask God for forgiveness, and today, all I can do is ask for all of yours," she said in court.
The former university student apologised for the murder but Fleegle was not convinced. "I stand before you a broken-down woman, asking for forgiveness and mercy," Weaver said. "Words cannot express how sorry I am to my beautiful daughter Addison."
Fleegle had the chance to sentence Weaver to life with a chance for parole, which her attorney Aaron Miller had request, but he said he doubted her remorse. The judge cited text messages Weaver sent to the man she believed to be the father of her daughter, which said, "No more baby," and "taken care of."
"That was probably the most truthful statement you made that day," the judge told Weaver, according to the Zanesville Times Recorder. "It was an inconvenience, and you took care of it."
Weaver originally pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, but she was found mentally competent by the judge. She told the court on 27 June that she wanted to appeal her case.
Muskingum County Prosecutor D Michael Haddox told reporters he was satisfied with the ruling. "We believe justice has been served as best as humanly possible," Haddox said.