Jennifer McMillan Crow sentenced after leaving newborn baby to die outside Planned Parenthood North Carolina office a decade ago.
A North Carolina woman on Friday pleaded guilty to involuntary murder after leaving her newborn baby in a plastic tub outside of a Planned Parenthood office in Winston-Salem more than a decade ago.
Jennifer McMillan Crow pleaded guilty in front of a Forsyth County judge on Thursday. Crow said she never even knew that her infant daughter had died until police questioned her years later.
Forsyth Superior Court Judge David Hall gave Crow an active 60-day jail sentence to be served in July 2022 and a suspended sentence of between one year and two years. Hall also placed Crow, who had no previous criminal record, on supervised probation for five years according to WXII12.
Court records indicate Crow gave birth to a premature baby alone in her bathtub in 2010, then dressed the baby in a onesie, wrapped her in blankets and put her in a container.
The ‘deceased’ baby was discovered on Sept. 11, 2010, outside of a Planned Parenthood office following concerns about threats to the building by anti-abortion protesters.
An autopsy found the abandoned baby having as a result of being prematurely born and environmental exposure, including hypothermia and pneumonia.
Despite repeated media overtures, one claimed the child for the next 10 years, and the abandoned baby girl became known as ‘Therese, the Little Flower,’ named after Saint Therese, a French nun who loved nature and flowers and died from tuberculosis at age 24 in 1897.
The girl was buried in September 2010 at a funeral attended by more than 100 people.
Crow was arrested in March after police last year had fingerprints from a baby bottle put through a new data system.
During questioning, Crow admitted to giving birth to the child, prosecutors said, and to leaving the child at the same Planned Parenthood location where she previously had obtained birth control.
State law at the time allowed individuals to leave infants ‘less than 7 days old with a responsible adult at designated safe havens such as hospitals, fire stations or nonprofit community health centers without penalty,’ according to the Winston-Salem Journal. But Crow never left the baby with a person.
Jennifer R. Martin, Crow’s attorney, said her client had ‘no malicious intent,’ and could not afford prenatal care and acted out of desperation.
Hall said Crow was criminally culpable because she didn’t seek prenatal care and she didn’t call 911, which she could have done anonymously.
It remained unclear if at any point the woman made any effort to find out if the child was alive and well after abandoning her newborn.