A 20-year-old Olathe woman was ordered Friday to stand trial for the death of a newborn daughter found abandoned in a trash can.
Marissa Carol Fields was 19 in December 2014 when she gave birth at home. A relative discovered the body and called police.
Fields told detectives she didn’t tell anyone she was pregnant before giving birth to the girl, who Fields said was born blue and cold to the touch. She said she placed the baby’s body in plastic bags and put it in the trash can because she was in shock and didn’t know what to do.
But according to medical testimony at Friday’s preliminary hearing in Johnson County District Court, the baby was thought to have been born alive and took at least one breath after birth. Deputy Johnson County Coroner Charles Glenn testified that the baby was full term and had no obvious physical injuries.
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Fields’ father told police that his daughter said she tried to revive the baby by blowing air into her lungs. Glenn testified that action could have expanded the baby’s lungs as if she had breathed on her own.
But when questioned by Olathe police, Fields said she had only performed three chest compressions and did not attempt to give “rescue breaths.”
After the autopsy, when police told her the baby had breathed, Fields said she was upset and crying and had not seen or heard the baby breathe or cry.
Glenn also testified that even if the baby had been stillborn, her body would not have been cold, as Fields described to police.
After District Judge Kelly Ryan found probable cause to try Fields on charges of first-degree felony murder and aggravated abandonment of a child, defense attorney Carl Cornwell entered not guilty pleas on behalf of Fields.
Fields, who is free on bond, is next scheduled to appear in court April 14.