MARSHFIELD, Wisc. — A prosecutor in Wisconsin states that he plans to file a murder charge against a woman who has now admitted to strangling her newborn son while beating his head into the toilet because she “didn’t want the baby.”
According to reports, Marylinn Feher, 22, gave birth sometime after midnight on April 6. Her boyfriend, Allen Rice, 19, later drove her to the Marshfield Medical Center as she was bleeding heavily.
Feher denied giving birth, but hospital workers did not believe it. According to the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune, a social worker called the Wood County Sheriff’s Department to report that a baby was missing.
Police later identified Rice’s vehicle in the hospital parking lot, and discovered the newborn wrapped in a towel inside of a tied garbage bag. The infant was rushed into the emergency room, and was revived for a time, but ultimately died from his injuries.
Local radio station WSAU reports that Rice told police that the two thought the baby was born dead, and that he had tried to perform CPR on the newborn after pulling his son from the toilet water upon delivery.
He said that he wrapped the baby in a towel and then in a plastic bag, which he put in the back of his vehicle, but tripped on the way, dropping the infant on the ground.
The child had mud, leaves and twigs on its body when found by police.
Rice reportedly claimed that he again tried to revive the newborn while parked outside of the hospital, but was unsuccessful. He said that he did not take the baby inside for medical assistance because he thought the newborn was dead and he was afraid. Rice later tied the bag shut.
An autopsy soon indicated that the newborn did not die from injuries related to childbirth, but apparent violent trauma.
“[T]he autopsy showed the newborn infant had a skull fracture and significant injuries to his head. The autopsy also showed injuries in the baby’s eyes that are most commonly found in cases of strangulation,” reports the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune, summarizing an amended statement filed on Friday by Wood County District Attorney Craig Lambert.
The outlet states that Feher, who initially denied giving birth at all, told the Wood County Sheriff’s Department and Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation on Tuesday that she put her hands around her newborn son’s throat and squeezed, and then squeezed again, while hitting his head on the toilet.
Feher said that she did so because she didn’t want the child.
She is now being held on $1 million bail, and Lambert says he plans to file a homicide charge against Feher. Rice is being held on $35,000 bail. Both are expected to appear in court on April 22.
Wisconsin has a Safe Haven law where mothers may surrender their newborns at a local hospital, fire station or police station without prosecution.
“This case has been quite emotional for the staff, and it’s going to continue to be,” Wood County Sheriff Shawn Becker told reporters, according to WSAW-TV. “This is probably the worst in my career for what the department is going through.”
Read the sheriff department’s press release about the crime here.
Some states only penalize the mother should she kill her son or daughter after birth. A Wisconsin law pre-Roe v. Wade prohibited the mother from obtaining an abortion or committing a self-abortion under criminal penalty, but a law passed in 1985 countered the ban as it stated, “No fine or imprisonment may be imposed or enforced against and no prosecution may be brought against a woman who obtains an abortion or otherwise violates any provision of any abortion statute with respect to her unborn child or fetus …”
In 2012, with the backing of Wisconsin Right to Life, which touted itself as “the lead organization” that “played an instrumental role in the passage of” the bill, lawmakers officially repealed the sections of Wisconsin law that held the mother criminally liable if she “intentionally destroys the life of her unborn child or … consents to such destruction by another.” Then-Gov. Scott Walker signed the bill into law, thus ensuring the elimination of criminal penalties for the acts of the mother.
However, in states like Tennessee, mothers can still face charges for attempting to kill their unborn child. As previously reported, in 2015, abortion “rights” advocates protested outside of a Murfreesboro courthouse with signs such as “Abortion on demand and without apology” and “Drop all charges against Anna Yocca” after the woman had been arrested for attempting a coat hanger abortion on her 24-week-old unborn son, Leo, that left him with injuries to his lungs, eyes and heart.
“When a woman attempts a coat hanger abortion, it’s the system that’s guilty of murder, not her,” one protester told The Daily News Journal. “This is a deep assault, an escalation in the war on women.”
Yocca was initially charged with first-degree attempted murder, but the charge was later downgraded, and she accepted a plea deal for a count of attempted procurement of a miscarriage.
2 Timothy 3 says that in the last days, “men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy [and] without natural affection …”