the republic logo

Baby found in trash released from hospital; mother's mental state a central issue in case

bug
Share/Save/Bookmark

SALT LAKE CITY — Lawyers for a Utah woman accused of leaving her newborn baby to die in a trash can say her mental state will be a central issue in the case.

Alicia Marie Englert, 23, made her first court appearance Wednesday in Salt Lake City with her hands shackled behind her back. Her eyes looked partially closed behind black-framed glasses.

A state judge allowed Englert's attorneys nearly a month to evaluate her before her next hearing. Defense attorney Susanne Gustin called the case sad and horrible, but asked the public to withhold judgment.

"We just ask people to be patient and wait for the information to come out and to maybe give everyone a greater understanding of why this happened," she said.

Photos that have surfaced publicly allegedly showing Englert in a nightclub drinking could be introduced by prosecutors, Gustin acknowledged.

Englert's family has said she has a learning disability and didn't understand what she was doing when she dumped the newborn. Gustin said attorneys are still trying to figure out whether Englert understands the charges.

PHOTO: Alicia Englert, center, accused of leaving her newborn baby to die in a trash can, flanked by her attorneys Susanne Gustin, left, and Melissa Fulkerson, makes her initial court appearance in front of Judge Ann Boyden, Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014, in Salt Lake City. Englert is being held on $500,000 bail and faces up to life in prison if convicted on an attempted murder charge. The baby girl has improved since she was flown to a hospital in critical condition on Aug. 26. (AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Al Hartmann, Pool)
Alicia Englert, center, accused of leaving her newborn baby to die in a trash can, flanked by her attorneys Susanne Gustin, left, and Melissa Fulkerson, makes her initial court appearance in front of Judge Ann Boyden, Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014, in Salt Lake City. Englert is being held on $500,000 bail and faces up to life in prison if convicted on an attempted murder charge. The baby girl has improved since she was flown to a hospital in critical condition on Aug. 26. (AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Al Hartmann, Pool)

"Obviously, this is going to be a case of what was going on with Alicia," Gustin said.

Englert is being held on $500,000 bail and faces up to life in prison if convicted on an attempted murder charge.

The baby girl has been released from a hospital where she was flown in critical condition on Aug. 26. She is in the care of state child welfare workers.

A neighbor who thought she heard a cat purring found the baby suffering from hypothermia and respiratory distress underneath bags of trash.

The child was dirty, smelly and had a blood-borne infection, according to Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill. He said the child would have died if she wasn't found and treated. State child welfare workers have custody of the baby, who is in fair condition.

Prosecutors say Englert gave birth in the bathroom of the home she shared with her family around midnight on Aug. 24. She gave the child no food or medical attention before wrapping her in a towel and going to work the next day, according to police.

Investigators don't believe other family members knew about the baby. Englert's parents attended Wednesday's hearing but did not take questions from reporters. The child's father hasn't been publicly identified.

Englert's next court appearance was set for Oct. 6.

Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!

Story copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Feedback, Corrections and Other Requests: AP welcomes feedback and comments from readers. Send an email to info@ap.org and it will be forwarded to the appropriate editor or reporter.


Photo Gallery:
PHOTO: Robert and Tammy Englert, parents of Alicia Englert, who is accused of throwing her newborn baby in the trash earlier this month, leave court after their daughter made her initial courtroom appearance, Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014, in Salt Lake City. Lawyers for Englert  say her mental state will be a central issue in the case. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Click to view (8 Photos)
We also have more stories about:
(click the phrases to see a list)

Category:

Follow The Republic:

All content copyright ©2014 The Republic, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved. Privacy policy.