Teen gets jail time in newborn dump case | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Teen gets jail time in newborn dump case

Regina Purcell, Tribune News Service

A California teen accused of concealing her pregnancy and dumping her dead newborn boy in a casino trash can will spend nine months in jail.

Christina Ramirez, 18, of Stockton, Calif. was sentenced Tuesday in Douglas County District Court by Judge David Gamble.

As the bailiff waited to take her into custody at Douglas County Jail, the teen’s mother hung onto her neck tightly and told her, “You’re strong. Remember that.”

The women were crying inconsolably, and appeared shocked by the sentence.

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Gamble and Brown both said there is no significance to the nine-month term.

Ramirez was charged with concealing the birth, a gross misdemeanor charge, after security and housekeeping crews at a Stateline casino found the dead baby May 7. She pleaded guilty May 30 and has contended the baby was dead at birth. That was never proven otherwise by medical personnel or the county District Attorney’s office, according to the judge.

“If (the DA) was able to prove life, it’s murder,” said Gamble, who also spoke about an entire generation taught that an “artificial deadline” is when a fetus becomes a human being.

“We’ve raised a whole generation telling them (a fetus) is not a person before birth. … In fact, if we didn’t teach our children that, this would be one of the most horrific crimes,” he said.

Gamble said if Ramirez had her child in a hospital, “It might have lived, and that tortures me.”

Attorney Derrick Lopez, said his client suffered assault when she was 11-years-old, for which the perpetrator was tried and convicted. He also denied allegations of her being a gang member.

Lopez told the judge that on the day of the birth, Ramirez had been left alone in the bathroom while her mother went gambling. He said the two women had been stranded and were waiting for money to be wired to get them back to Stockton. The trip was an 18th birthday present to Ramirez, Lopez said. He said on at least two occasions casino employees found Ramirez in the bathroom sleeping, and only ordered her to leave the bathroom once they found blood in the trash can.

“She never intended to have harm come to the child,” said Lopez. “It wasn’t breathing. It wasn’t alive and she made the wrong decision. But she didn’t get help when she was 11, and she needs to get help and get on with her life.”

Ramirez had reportedly been to counseling since her arrest, and both maternal and paternal grandparents attended a funeral for the baby.

Lopez agreed with the district attorney and Nevada Division of Parole and Probation Officer Laurie Vela, who told the judge Ramirez could not be sufficiently supervised in California if she was placed on probation.

Deputy District Attorney Kris Brown told the judge Ramirez needs to take responsibility for “putting a baby in the trash can and lying to everybody.”

Ramirez, visibly shaken by the proceedings, said, “I wish to keep going (to counseling) to get me through all of this.”

The judge said she can get counseling in jail.

“You benefited from the lack of ability of medical people to determine if this child had life,” said Gamble.

“But I can’t let it go unpunished or unsupervised.

“I am convinced a portion (of responsibility) lies with society.”

Gamble sentenced her to nine months in jail with credit for 34 days already served, and gave her a $25 fine.

Ramirez and her mother would not comment on the sentence.

Vela said the matter was a lose-lose case. While she said the sentence, based on the recommendation of the probation office, was “fair and accurate,” she said, Ramirez “lost by losing her only child. Her family lost (a daughter), and the child lost his life,” she said.

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