Nun-in-Training Pleads Guilty in Baby's Death | NBC4 Washington

Nun-in-Training Pleads Guilty in Baby's Death

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    A woman who came to DC to study and become a nun plead guilty to manslaughter in the death of her newborn son last fall. (Published Friday, Feb. 28, 2014)

    The woman accused of killing her newborn son at the convent where she had been training to become a nun pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter Friday.

    Sosefina Amoa, is facing four to 10 years in prison, but could have served up to 30 years. The charge was reduced from first-degree murder under a plea agreement.

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    The woman accused of killing her newborn son at the convent where she was training to become a nun will remain in jail, a judge ruled Wednesday. (Published Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013)

    She fought back tears in court Friday, reported News4's Pat Collins.

    Amoa, a native of Samoa, had arrived in the United States less than a week before the baby's death, to receive religious training at Little Sisters of the Poor, a convent and home for poor senior citizens in Northeast D.C.

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    A woman who had recently arrived to the States from Samoa unknowingly gave birth last week, and told police she suffacted her newborn because she didn't want anyone to know she had been sexually active. News4's Jackie Bensen has the details. (Published Friday, Oct. 18, 2013)

    According to police documents, Amoa began experiencing contractions in her room at the convent on Oct. 10, 2013. She said the baby was born while she was leaning on her bed. The baby fell straight down, hitting the floor, the documents say.

    She initially told police that the baby was born not breathing. However, during a second interview with police six days later, Amoa told officers that she covered the newborn's face because she was scared the nuns would hear him crying.

    "She said that she placed a black wool garment over the child's nose and mouth and applied pressure with her hand for two to three minutes," the documents say.

    Authorities say she kept the baby in her room overnight, and in the morning, found a nun and told her she'd found the baby outside before later admitting the baby was hers.

    They took the baby to Providence Hospital in a black luggage bag.

    "It's a very tragic situation for everyone involved," said Sister Constance with Little Sisters of the Poor in a statement last fall. "We're praying for Sosefina and the baby. Because it's now a police investigation, there's nothing else we can say."

    While Amoa told police conflicting information at first, she eventually told them she had known she was pregnant. Amoa also admitted that she hadn't told the nuns at Little Sisters about her previous sexual encounters.

    An autopsy conducted on the baby determined that he was born at full-term gestation and weighed more than six pounds. The medical examiner said the baby had breathed and had bruises on his nose.

    Amoa will be sentenced May 23.

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