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A Bay Ridge woman who claimed not to have any memory of pitching her baby in a trash bag is expecting 25 years in prison now that she’s been convicted of killing the newborn.
Judge Alan Marrus found 28-year-old Laura Sergio not guilty of murder charges at the close of a lengthy bench trial Friday, but did find her guilty of manslaughter, claiming she “recklessly engaged in conduct that caused a child’s death.”
Sergio was arrested in April, 2007 after she gave birth to a baby girl in the bathroom of her parent’s home on Colonial Road.
Prosecutors alleged Sergio smothered the child and put the baby in a plastic bag before she was taken to Lutheran Medical Center complaining of excruciating cramps and vaginal bleeding.
Doctors at Lutheran realized Sergio had just given birth and sent the police back to the home to find the baby.
The newborn’s remains were found in a garbage bag sitting on the back porch. According to published reports, a neighbor led police to the remains, screaming from her property, “What you’re looking for is back here.”
An autopsy revealed that the baby died of asphyxiation.
When Sergio was released from prison, she was charged with murder in the second degree, manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child. Her two sisters were also accused of helping to hide the baby’s remains, but those charges were later dropped.
Throughout her arrest and trial, Sergio claimed she had no memory of having a baby. She even denied ever being pregnant to the paramedics who pulled her off the blood-soaked bathroom floor that night, according to court documents.
Her attorney, Luis Aidala, claimed Sergio suffered from amnesia around the time the baby was born and to this day has no recollection of what happened.
The trial was a sham because his client couldn’t remember the crime she is accused of, Aidala said, claiming, “[Sergio] could not and did not receive a fair trial because of her amnesia.”
Medical experts confirmed Aidala’s claims, but the trial went on since amnesia isn’t a legal defense.
“[Amnesia] doesn’t exempt someone from criminal responsibility,” Marrus said.
Aidala vowed to appeal. Sergio remains out on bail until her sentencing on Nov. 12.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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