Teen sentenced to 10 years in newborn's death

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Associated Press

Posted on February 14, 2013 at 2:01 PM

PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) — A western Kentucky teen has been sentenced to 10 years in prison in the death of her newborn.

The Paducah Sun (http://bit.ly/11IFW94) reports 19-year-old Katelyn Teague received the sentence Wednesday in McCracken Circuit Court.

Teague was originally charged with murder after the infant was found last year in a plastic bag inside the teen's closet, but pleaded guilty last month to a lesser charge of second-degree manslaughter.

Because she was 17 when charged, she was eligible for probation. Despite pleas from her and her family, Judge Craig Clymer denied the request, saying the notion was outlandish considering the circumstances.

During the hearing Teague said she made a mistake on the night she went into labor at the apartment she shared with her mother and regrets not calling emergency crews when her newborn stopped breathing.

"I made a lot of bad choices, and the choices that I made I'm sorry for," Teague said. "I wish that I could go back. I'm sorry. This has been so hard for me. I don't know how to explain how. If I could go back, I feel like I would change it. I have to live with this for the rest of my life. I wish I would have done something different."

Clymer said he met with the prosecutor and defense attorney to understand why the charges were reduced and found that it was because Teague had changed her story about what happened and the evidence didn't conclusively show that she had intentionally killed the baby.

"We are talking about whether to care for or kill a child," Clymer told Teague. "You were given a child, and you let it die and put it in a bag to be taken out with the trash. I wake up at night and I think about that baby."

Teague's attorney, Angela Troutman, said her client has already served 174 days of her sentence and is eligible for shock probation, which means she could be freed in 30 days. She said her client intends to attend college and become a nurse.

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Information from: The Paducah Sun, http://www.paducahsun.com

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