The mother involved in the brutal murder of a newborn baby boy has been sentenced to life in prison.
A 26-year-old Pennsylvania woman gave birth to a baby boy in the restroom of a sports bar in Allentown, suffocated him, then stuffed his body in a toilet tank before returning to the bar to finish watching a wrestling match in her bloodied clothes. The woman, Amanda Catherine Hein, faced a single count of murder that could attract the death penalty due to the age of the child.
Hein was watching a wrestling match on August 18 with friends at a sports bar in Allentown. She apparently went into labor during the match and went to the restroom, not returning to her friends’ table until about forty minutes later.
In the interim, Hein had experienced labor, given birth to a healthy baby boy, and suffocated him. After he was dead, she wrapped his body in a plastic bag and left him in a toilet tank. Perhaps most bizarre about the incident is that Hein returned to her booth – wearing her bloody clothes – to continue watching the game, go outside for a cigarette break, and hang out with her friends at the bar.
Now, Hein has been sentenced to life in prison, local media report:
The Allentown woman was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life behind bars without the possibility of parole — an automatic sentence given with the Northampton County jury’s verdict, The Morning Call reported.
“This was a very difficult case,” Judge Paula Roscioli told the panel of seven men and five women after imposing the sentence.
“This was a very emotional case.”
Hein’s lead attorney, Michael Corriere, maintained she didn’t plot the newborn’s death.
“Nobody goes to Starters’ bathroom to give birth if you’re pregnant,” Corriere told jurors. “This is a surprise and a panicked reaction.”
The defense argued that the baby likely suffocated from the plastic bag Hein wrapped him in after she thought he was dead.
The jury deliberated for about three hours before finding Hein guilty of first-degree murder.
At the time of Hein’s arrest, Morganelli said described photos of the newborn as looking like a “full-term baby.”
“I’ve seen dead people, shot, strangled,” Morganelli said. “But when you’re dealing with a baby, it is very difficult.”
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He told LifeNews.com, “Why are the nation’s pro-choice organizations not rushing to the defense of this woman? Remember, two of their standard arguments in support of abortion is that (a) women are the ones who get to determine when life begins and (b) the government has no legal right to tell a woman she has to have a baby she doesn’t want.
“Well, if those things are true, Ms. Hein fits the pro-choice model to a tee. After all, if she says that her baby’s life had not yet begun. What right does the State of Pennsylvania have to question that? And if she says that she has the legal right to decide for herself whether she wants to have a child or not, how is she different than any other woman sitting in the waiting room of any abortion clinic in the country?”