Las Vegas Sun

April 17, 2014

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Case of teen accused of attempted murder of newborn sent to District Court

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Sarah White

The case of an 18-year-old Henderson woman accused of the attempted murder of her newborn was bound over to District Court Thursday after the girl’s mother testified at the preliminary hearing that she saw the infant inside a plastic bag.

The teen, Sarah White, appeared before Pro Tem Judge Eugene Martin in Henderson Justice Court on charges of attempted murder and child abuse and neglect.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Vicki Monroe asked that the child abuse and neglect charge be amended to include substantial bodily harm. Martin amended the criminal complaint and reset White’s bail at $12,000.

White’s mother testified at the hearing that she didn’t know her daughter was pregnant but had suspicions because of weight gain. She said she left their house in the 200 block of Camino Vista Street in Henderson on April 3 to pick up some medicine for White and returned to find her in the upstairs bathroom with a newborn.

Upon entering the bathroom, she said, she saw a lot of blood on the floor. She said she pulled back the shower curtain and found her daughter in the bathtub on her hands and knees.

She said she then saw the baby inside a plastic bag. The infant looked purple and didn’t appear healthy, she said.

White’s father, a trained paramedic, also testified at the hearing and said he performed CPR on the infant after his wife called 911. He said the baby responded after two compressions and opened her eyes.

He said he did not assess whether the baby was breathing or had a heartbeat before he began CPR.

The baby was taken to St. Rose Sienna Hospital in stable but serious condition, police said.

White also was taken to the hospital, where she was interviewed by Henderson Police.

Detective Chad Mitchell testified on Thursday that White told him she never placed the baby inside the bag. Instead, she said, she used the bag to swaddle the baby like a blanket, he testified.

White’s attorney, Jin Kim, said Monroe failed to prove that evidence pointed to attempted murder.

She said White is a scared girl who convinced herself she wasn’t pregnant. During an interview with detectives, White said she didn’t think she was pregnant because a pregnancy test she had taken in August 2009 came back negative, police said.

Mitchell testified that White said she realized she was pregnant in March but didn’t know what to do with the baby.

“She said she didn’t want to be the only 18-year-old girl with a baby,” he testified.

Martin scheduled White’s arraignment in District Court at 10:30 a.m. on July 19. He said White, who was being held at the Henderson Detention Center, would be placed on house arrest if she posts bail.

At one point, White’s attorneys asked that a Sun reporter not be allowed to attend the hearing and Martin ordered that she leave the courtroom. The judge later allowed her back in, but barred her from taking notes.

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