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Archive for Saturday, November 19, 2005

Mother gets 5 years in baby’s death

November 19, 2005

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— An Olathe woman whose newborn daughter's body was found in a trash bin two years ago was sentenced Thursday to five years in prison for the baby's death.

Aubrey Owen, 22, pleaded no contest in August to reckless second-degree murder in the death of her daughter, Izabella, in October 2003. A trash truck driver found the infant's body in a backpack.

Owen gave birth six weeks ago to another daughter, Alexis, who was in the courtroom with a relative Thursday. Owen, who will have to serve 85 percent of her sentence before becoming eligible for parole, thanked Johnson County District Judge Thomas Bornholt for delaying the sentencing to allow her to spend time with the baby.

Owen had told authorities that she become pregnant with the first child after being "taken advantage of sexually."

She said she gave birth at her home in Olathe after concealing the pregnancy and decided to dispose of the baby because she believed the girl was stillborn.

The doctor who performed the autopsy testified earlier that the baby had been born alive and he ruled the death a homicide.

Aubrey Owen, who has had intensive therapy, said she worried about other women in similar situations.

"They don't need prison," she told the judge. "They deserve help."

Chris McMullin, the assistant district attorney who prosecuted the case, said he believed the five-year sentence agreed to in the plea bargain was appropriate.

Had the case gone to trial and Owen been convicted, she could have faced up to 20 years in prison, McMullin said.

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