Natalie Annell Weaver, 21, pleaded guilty to a second-degree felony charge of manslaughter and a state jail felony charge of abuse of a corpse during proceedings held Wednesday, July 10, in 40th District Court.
In exchange for her guilty pleas, the Springfield, Missouri, woman was sentenced to five years confinement on the manslaughter charge and 400 days confinement for the abuse of corpse charge. The sentences will run concurrently.
The charges stem from the birth of Weaver’s baby girl in 2018, when Weaver was a student at Southwestern Assembly of God University in Waxahachie.
According to a press release issued by the Ellis County and District Attorney’s Office, Waxahachie Police Department officers were called for a welfare check in a dormitory on the SAGU campus on April 17, 2018. It was reported to the officers that Weaver had possibly given birth to a baby in the dorm and police needed to investigate. Upon arrival, officers observed multiple locations with both wet and dried blood. Inside a trashcan, officers located a deceased female newborn in a plastic bag.
Weaver denied giving birth to the baby; however, evidence gathered during the investigation showed that she delivered the infant in a dormitory bathroom, according to the DA’s release, which notes that Weaver failed to seek any medical assistance for her daughter, who was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck. The baby died as a result of asphyxia, according to the DA’s office.
After the police completed their investigation, the case was submitted to the DA’s office for review by the grand jury, which returned indictments Oct. 10, 2018, on the charges. Weaver turned herself in at the Ellis County detention center Nov. 13 and was released on bond.
After Weaver was sentenced, Ellis County and District Attorney Patrick Wilson issued the following statement.
“I want to commend the Waxahachie Police Department for their work on this emotional case,” Wilson said. “This was a horrific and inhumane crime. A precious newborn was literally thrown in the garbage by her own mother. It’s both shocking and mind-boggling. And it didn’t have to happen.
“Texas has a Baby Moses Law that allows and encourages mothers to take unwanted infants to designated safe havens, such as hospitals or fire stations,” Wilson said. “All Weaver had to do was take her baby to one of those locations, just minutes away. She would have avoided prosecution and, more importantly, her baby girl would probably still be alive.
“Please let this be a reminder to young mothers in distress that there are safe alternatives,” Wilson said. “The gift of life is too important to throw away.”
For more information on Texas’ Baby Moses Law, visit the link below: