February 16, 2007

Womb attack woman pleads guilty to charges


United States – A woman in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has pleaded guilty to attempted homicide, assault and kidnapping for trying to cut a foetus from a neighbour’s womb.

Peggy Jo Conner, 39, who gave up her right to trial by jury, was told by the judge she could face up to 80 years in prison and $100,000 (£51,000) in fines.{{more}}

Authorities said Conner had tried to steal the unborn baby in an attempt to pass it off as her own child.

Both the woman and the baby boy survived the attack in October 2005.

Conner had been due to go on trial on Monday when she admitted to the crimes.

The authorities had accused her of attacking Valerie Oskin with a baseball bat at her home before driving her to an abandoned logging road.

There she is said to have hit the woman with a hooked crowbar and, using a razor knife to cut her abdomen, tried to remove the unborn baby.

She was spotted by a teenager driving an all-terrain vehicle who told his father, who in turn contacted the police.

Conner had been originally charged with two counts of attempted homicide, but the one relating to the baby was withdrawn by prosecutors.

The judge will now determine whether Conner did indeed attempt first-degree murder on Oskin.

If the homicide charge is dismissed, any prison term Conner would receive could be reduced. On Monday, she told the court she was taking medication for mental health issues.

Oskin’s son is now 16 months old and is living with an adoptive family, which had always been Oskin’s desire.

He was delivered by emergency Caesaran section.