Mother admits stuffing newborn into casino trash can |

Mother admits stuffing newborn into casino trash can

F.T. Norton, Tribune News Service

MINDEN — Saying she spent time with her dead newborn before stuffing his lifeless body into a casino bathroom trash can, a Stockton, Calif., woman pleaded guilty Thursday to concealing the birth of her child.

“I had the baby in the bathroom at Harrah’s casino. He was dead when I had him,” Christine Corrine Ramirez, 18, said quietly to East Fork District Judge Dave Gamble.

A housekeeping crew discovered the baby May 7 in a bathroom stall garbage bin at 7:15 a.m.

Investigators learned Ramirez’s identity by reviewing casino tapes and interviewing witnesses, Douglas County Sheriff Ron Pierini said.

“How did you know he was dead?” Gamble asked.

“I sat with him for a long time and had my hand on his chest. After a while I cleaned up and put him in a bag and put him in the garbage,” she replied.

When Gamble asked Ramirez why she’d concealed her pregnancy, Ramirez’s mother cried out from the gallery, “Mija, tell him.”

“I didn’t know that it was time already (to have the baby),” Ramirez said.

She spent her entire labor in the bathroom of the casino, she said.

“It was hard,” she told the judge.

In the plea agreement, the district attorney’s office reserved the right to file more charges if new information from the infant’s autopsy reveals the child was born alive.

Sentencing was set for 9 a.m. July 9.

Ramirez faces a $2,000 fine and up to a year in jail.

Derrick Lopez, Ramirez’s attorney, asked the judge to allow his client out of jail on her own recognizance pending sentencing.

“She has lived her entire life in Stockton. Her mother and grandmother live there. Her entire family lives there,” he told the judge.

But prosecutor Kris Brown was against Ramirez’s release.

“She was aware of her pregnancy, but concealed it from her mother. That doesn’t show a strong family relationship,” she said.

Brown cited testimony from a Stockton police officer who said Ramirez is a documented gang member from a gang family.

Gamble questioned whether denying Ramirez’s release was appropriate.

“It’s silly to keep her in custody for six more weeks if she’s only going to be sentenced for this charge,” he said. “The bond amount (now) is not consistent with a gross misdemeanor.”

Brown told Gamble she wasn’t sure when the rest of the autopsy tests would be completed, but thus far the autopsy revealed the baby never took a breath.

“If you are going to charge her with some homicide there is a very good reason to keep her in jail; if you’re not, then there’s not,” Gamble said.

He reserved ruling on a bail reduction.

Outside the courtroom, Ramirez’s grandmother and mother, who came from Stockton to attend the hearing, defended her.

“She doesn’t drink, she doesn’t smoke. She is a good girl,” her grandmother said.

They refused to answer why Ramirez felt it was necessary to conceal her pregnancy.

“I won’t say. If she wants you to know she can tell you when she gets out,” her mother said.

Her grandmother said the situation was hard for the family and Ramirez.

“We will always be here for her,” she said.

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