In Alameda County Superior Court yesterday, 23-Year-old Ashley Newton of San Jose pled not guilty to the stabbing death of her 7-month old son. When she was arrested in a regional park outside of Livermore, California, she apologized to police officers, "I'm sorry, I killed my baby."
On April 26th, East Bay Regional Park police officers were responding to reports of traffic collision on Arroyo Road when they found an abandoned Honda. Newton was in the road, "holding a lifeless baby in her arms," a police report said.
But True Crime blogger and former FBI agent Jim Fisher, dug deeper into the story. According to Fisher, witnesses saw a woman repeatedly ramming her Honda Civic into a stone wall near Camp Arroyo, but the woman was gone by the time police arrived. Two hours later, Mike Harris, an off-duty police chief from nearby Livermore, was getting into his car with his wife and kids about 200 yards away from the wreck when Newton came stumbling out of the woods, covered in blood and holding her son:
Shortly after the chief's daughters climbed into the family vehicle, a young woman wearing a sweatshirt and jeans caked in blood approached the Harris family. In her arms she carried a blond-haired, 7-month-old boy dressed in Cookie Monster diapers and a blue striped pullover. The child was also covered in blood. The distraught woman handed the boy to the chief. "Take him! Take him!" she yelled before climbing into the car with the chief's daughters.
The police chief assumed that the woman and her son had been injured in the nearby wrecked Honda. He alerted officers and paramedic personnel who were down the road investigating the accident. A member of the emergency crew, shortly after starting CPR on the boy, realized that he was dead. The child had been stabbed to death.
As CBS puts it, the witnesses tried to help, but the baby was pronounced dead. According to a statement from East Bay Regional Park police Sgt. Tracy Desiderio, Newton "made several spontaneous statements indicating that she had killed the baby," and admitted to the stabbing after officers read her miranda rights.
A knife was found at the scene and Newton had apparently tried to stab herself in the wrist. She was taken to a nearby hospital before she was taken into custody and charged with murder with an enhancement clause for the knife.
The next day, during questioning at the Santa Rita Jail, Newton was described as "paranoid and detached from reality." According to the baby's father, who last saw her the day before the incident, Newton had been suffering from depression. Authorities have not released the results of their toxicology test.