Woman Pleads Guilty to Death of Newborn Baby
Kimberly Pappas, the 26-year-old Wyandotte woman accused of giving birth at work and then sealing her newborn in a plastic bag at her desk, has pleaded guilty to charges of second degree murder in the Wayne County Court.
Pappas entered the plea before Circuit Court Judge Bruce Morrow, which means that she has agreed to spend between 9 and 20 years behind bars. This is a considerable period of time, to be sure. But given that she had initially been charged with felony murder, premeditated murder and first degree child abuse, which could have put her behind bars for life, 9 to 20 years is considerably less than what she was facing before.
According to police, in March Pappas gave birth to a baby boy in the bathroom of CEVA Logistics, where she worked as a temporary employee. She allegedly gave birth while seated on the toilet in the employee bathroom, and the newborn fell directly into the toilet water.
She then cut the umbilical cord with cuticle scissors, and cleaned up as best as possible, given the circumstances. Authorities say that Pappas then sealed the baby and the placenta in a plastic grocery bag, and hid it in a drawer in her desk.
Pappas’ sister was also an employee at CEVA, and noticed that her sister was very pale and appeared to be blacking out at her desk. Concerned, she called the Redford Fire Department. Emergency responders attempted to resuscitate the baby once they found his body, and then transported the child to the nearest hospital. Pappas told EMTs that she had miscarried, and that the child was stillborn.
Sadly, however, 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. Because the baby boy was born alive and at full term, the cause of death was ruled a homicide. As a result, Pappas was charged with murder and first degree child abuse.
Initially, Pappas pled not guilty to the charges, but since then has changed her mind. Her attorneys have argued that she should not be imprisoned. Rather, she needs counseling and therapy for her problems. The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office and the Judge, however, disagree.
Pappas is scheduled for sentencing on October 26th in the Wayne County Circuit Court.