Kimberly Pappas, a 24-year-old Wyandotte woman, has entered a plea of not guilty to charges of child abuse and murder. She is accused of having given birth, unassisted, at her job, and then hidden the newborn in a plastic bag near her desk, where he died of asphyxiation.
According to police, Pappas gave birth to a baby boy in the bathroom of CEVA Logistics in Redford Township, where she worked as a temporary employee. She allegedly gave birth while seated on the toilet, and the newborn fell directly into the toilet. She then apparently sealed the baby in a plastic grocery bag and hid the body in a tote bag near her desk.
However, Pappas’ sister also worked there, and she noticed that her sibling was very pale and blacking out at her desk. She called the Redford Fire Department, and emergency responders rushed to the scene. They attempted to resuscitate the baby, and then transported the child to the nearest hospital, but it was too late. The baby was pronounced dead at the hospital. Autopsy reports show that the child lived for 20 to 30 minutes before dying of asphyxiation.
The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office charged Pappas with felony murder, premeditated murder and first-degree child abuse. If convicted she is facing life in prison. Even without the murder charges, first degree child abuse can result in a life sentence under Michigan law.
Redford Township District Judge Karen Khalil initially refused to rule on the case until Pappas had undergone a mental competency exam and been declared competent to stand trial. She was recently cleared, and was then bound over for trial on the charges.
As of now, her defense attorneys are hoping that the murder charge can be reduced to involuntary manslaughter. According to their explanation, Pappas lost a lot of blood and was confused and in shock directly after the birth, which resulted in poor decision-making. She also may have thought that the baby was stillborn if it wasn’t moving, and therefore never meant to harm the child but rather to simply dispose of the body.
But according to the prosecutor’s office, Pappas never intended to keep the baby. She never discussed her pregnancy with her family or friends, going so far as to deny it when confronted directly. She also never purchased baby clothes or diapers, or made any plans for delivery. This, they claim, is proof of the fact that she never meant to keep the baby.
At her most recent court hearing on August 31st, Pappas pled not guilty to the charges before Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Morrow. Now it remains to be seen whether or not her attorneys and the Prosecutor’s Office can come to some kind of agreement about a plea deal.
Her next court date is scheduled for October 5th at 9 am. We will keep you updated as this case develops.