Judge denies request to quash JPD testimony in abandoned baby case

By Gary Scott on July 14, 2015 at 8:34am

A judge has denied an 18-year-old Jacksonville woman’s attorney’s request to suppress evidence in an attempted murder trial.

The woman was 17 years old at the time she’s accused of abandoning her newborn baby in a Jacksonville dumpster last August. She was arrested a week after the incident.

Statements made by Jacksonville Police Detective Scott Erthal in Morgan County Court indicated she admitted to placing the baby in the dumpster, knowing it was alive, and then walking away.

The Jacksonville Journal-Courier reports Associate Judge Jeffery Tobin turned down Attorney Anne Clough’s request to have the evidence quashed because he said Erthal’s testimony was more credible than the teen’s mother and grandmother.

According to the city paper, Tobin on Monday said the grandmother’s testimony didn’t match the mother’s testimony regarding when and where Erthal was informed about her wishes to be present for the interview.

Erthal testified that the mother of the teen did not want to go with him for the interview, but she testified that she insisted she be present.

Tobin also reportedly said the girl’s testimony regarding her actions on the night of the incident was given freely and voluntarily.

The interview, conducted at the Madison County Detention Center less than a week after the girl’s arrest, was not recorded because police said the necessary equipment wasn’t available.