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Woman accused of putting newborn in UIHC trash can takes plea deal

Criminal complaints say on May 8, 2016, Hautzenrader gave birth to a child in the bathroom at UIHC. Police say Hautzenrader tried to flush the baby down a toilet and then put it in a pillowcase and left it in the trash. The child was soon found alive by nurses. (Johnson County Jail)

A Davenport woman accused of attempting to flush her newborn down a toilet and leaving the child in a trash can at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics has taken a plea deal.

The Gazette reports 24-year-old Ashley Hautzenrader entered Alford pleas to charges of neglect or abandonment of a dependent person and child endangerment in exchange for the drop of her most serious charge, attempted murder. An Alford plea is when a defendant doesn't admit guilt, but acknowledges that there is likely enough evidence for a conviction.

Criminal complaints say on May 8, 2016, Hautzenrader gave birth to a child in the bathroom at UIHC. Police say Hautzenrader tried to flush the baby down a toilet and then put it in a pillowcase and left it in the trash. The child was soon found alive by nurses.

The state of Iowa passed the Safe Haven Act in 2002, which allows parents or guardian to leave an infant up to 14 days old at a hospital or health care facility without fear of persecution for abandonment. The law has saved at least 29 babies in Iowa since it went into effect.

A tentative sentencing date has been set for September 1.

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