HOWARD COUNTY, MARYLAND: In April of this year, a jury determined that Moira Akers, 41, was guilty of first-degree child abuse and second-degree murder in the death of her newborn. She risked serving a life sentence, but Judge Timothy J McCrone of the Howard County Circuit Court gave her a slightly reduced prison term of 30 years.
The horrific incident occurred after Akers gave birth in November 2018. She called for help and was taken to a nearby hospital after the unnamed boy was born. But she seemed to have planned to conceal the birth, at least until the medical staff at Howard County intervened.
The Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office stated in a press release that “Akers did not disclose the birth of her newborn to Howard County Fire & EMS personnel who responded to treat her while she was being transported to the hospital.” It was discovered through investigation that Akers had recently given birth in her home. When police were called to the home to check on the welfare of the residents, they discovered a dead newborn baby boy inside a closed closet, wrapped in a blanket and in a plastic bag. When asked how the baby was discovered at the time, Akers responded, “The baby was stillborn.”
The autopsy took place on November 2, 2018.
A report by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in March 2019 found that the boy was not, in fact, stillborn. Instead, according to the prosecution, the boy was a “healthy, full-term baby and alive at birth.” The child died of asphyxiation and exposure, the autopsy determined.
Law enforcement reportedly claimed to have found evidence that Akers looked up information on how to end a pregnancy online, according to Baltimore CBS affiliate WJZ-TV. The woman, however, claimed throughout the trial that her child was never alive. But the jury did not accept that explanation.
In remarks made public at the time of Akers’ conviction, State’s attorney Rich Gibson discussed the specifics of the case. “We had to prove the child was born alive, which made it one of the most challenging cases my office has ever had to prosecute,” he said. “We were able to prove to a jury that Ms Akers’ egregious and unconscionable actions ultimately resulted in the murder of her own child thanks to the great work of HCPD detectives, our prosecutors, the Office of Chief Medical Examiner, and other experts,” said the prosecutor.