Judge reserves decision in infanticide case
Joint submission from lawyers seeks no jail time for Angela Kuehl
The Ottawa Sun, by Terri Saunders, April 21, 2009
Prosecutors are not seeking a jail sentence for an emotionally disturbed woman who smothered her newborn with a plastic bag to keep her pregnancy a secret.
In a joint submission before Judge Lynn Ratushny today, both the prosecution and defence suggested Angela Elizabeth Kuehl, 27, of Ottawa, be sentenced to a year of house arrest followed by two years of probation on a charge of infanticide. Ratushny reserved decision and will sentence Kuehl in August.
Kuehl sat quietly in the front row of the Ottawa courtroom throughout the hearing, periodically wiping her eyes with a tissue. She was surrounded by family members, friends and her new boyfriend.
Kuehl pleaded guilty to one count of infanticide in February after a charge of second-degree murder, which had originally been laid against her in the baby's death, was withdrawn. After a series of psychological assessments, it was determined that Kuehl was in a "disturbed state of mind" at the time and was not capable of fully understanding the implications of her actions.
Kuehl went to an Ottawa hospital on April 19, 2007 to seek treatment for complications following childbirth. At the time, the infant could not be located and an investigation was launched to try to find the baby.
On April 30, police officers found the body of a male infant inside a city garbage truck. An autopsy determined the child was Kuehl's and had been alive at the time of the birth.
Kuehl was charged in the fall of 2007 after the autopsy results were sent to police. She was released from custody soon afterward following a bail hearing.