Former Muskingum University student was sentenced to life in prison after finding guilty for killing her newborn daughter. Muskingum County Common Pleas Court in Zanesville, Ohio, ruled the verdict on Monday.
Emile Weaver was convicted in May of aggravated murder, abuse of a corpse and two counts of tampering with evidence. She was sentenced for placing her newborn baby in a plastic trash bag on April 22, 2015.
The child was found later that day by sisters from Delta Gamma Theta sorority house at Muskingum University outside the campus. Addison Grace Weaver, as was named the girl, was found dead due to asphyxiation.
In her defense, Emile testified that she did not know she was pregnant until she delivered the baby on the toilet. She added that she thought the baby was dead and therefore she put it into the trash can. However, prosecutors determined she was aware of her condition, and yet, she engaged in risky behavior for the fetus. Emile drank alcohol, smoked marijuana, took supplements and participated in a dodgeball tournament. According to prosecutors, Weaver did everything she could to miscarriage her baby.
It seems like Emile tried almost everything to walk free from her crime. First, she pleaded not guilty because of insanity. It was proved that she was mentally competent at the time of the murder. Then, she alleged the baby was born dead. X-ray evidence provided by Dr. Jeffrey Lee showed the baby’s lungs took several breaths after being born. Finally, as a last try, she testified feeling remorse in an attempt to get, after 20 years in prison, release on parole.
None of these strategies gave positive results to Weaver when she heard Judge Mark Fleegle ruling a life sentence in jail without parole for the crimes she had committed.
“We feel justice has been served for Addison Grace Weaver. But, it’s still a sad ending to a sad story,” said prosecutor Michael Haddox while concerned with Wever’s sentence.
Emile Weaver is allegedly planning to appeal her conviction.
Four-paragraph remorseful letter
Before her sentence, Weaver read a letter to in court in a last attempt to convince Judge Mark Fleegle about her regret. Plenteous tears accompanied Weaver’s letter and at times, Wever’s word got unintelligible.
She addressed the court an apology where she included everyone she might have caused anguish, but in particular, she referred to what she inflicted on her baby daughter, Addison.
“I stand before you a broken-down woman, asking for forgiveness and mercy. Words cannot express how sorry I am to my beautiful daughter Addison. I ask God for forgiveness, and all I can do is ask for all of yours,” she said.
Nevertheless, with such action, Weaver could not change her destiny nor make it a little bit less bitter. According to Muskingum County Common Pleas Judge, Mark Fleegle, Weaver was not sorry or remorseful at all about what she did. Fleegle pointed out that in Emile’s letter, the words “I” and “my” appeared at least 20 times and after hearing Weaver’s apology he said that “once again” it was all about her.
Fleegle added that there was a possibility of a lighter sentence for the 21-year-old defendant, such is the case of issuing life in prison, but with a chance for parole, however, Fleegle argued he did not find in Emile’s actions nor apologize traces of regret for causing the death of her baby daughter. Hence, Weaver was sentenced to life in prison without parole for aggravated murder and four years in jail for the other charges linked to the child’s death.
Moreover, Fleegle said throughout the trial that evidence showed that Weaver was more concerned about her welfare than her infant’s. Weaver’s selfish attitude was registered before and after placing the baby in the trash. This evidence included text messages from Weaver to a man (it is believed to be Addison’s father) in which she wrote: “No more baby, taken care of.'” Emile sent those messages hours after she got rid of the child but before the baby was found.
“That was probably the most truthful statement you made that day. It was an inconvenience, and you took care of it,” said Fleegle regarding such actions.
Emile confirmed her indifference towards her child condition when talking to a detective. She said she was more worried about her health and welfare than that of her little girl.
Weaver’s defense attorney, Aaron Miller, stated that Emile should have received a lesser sentence.
“What does genuine remorse look like? How many times must an individual cry or not cry to show genuine remorse?,” Miller said regarding Fleegle’s statements about the absence of remorse in Emile.
Miller argued that a fair sentence for his client was life in prison with the possibility of parole after 20 years.