Disturbing details released in death of Portsmouth newborn, police say mother high on drugs

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PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Police say a woman smoked crack cocaine the night before giving birth, then allegedly killed her baby by placing him in a garbage bag.

Thursday, paramedics responded to a home on Merrimac Drive in Portsmouth to take a pregnant woman to the hospital. However, according to police, Donita Hawkins had already given birth, though she did not tell first responders.

Donita M. Hawkins was charged with second degree murder

Donita M. Hawkins was charged with second degree murder

Court documents say a Maryview Hospital doctor was only alerted to the baby when Hawkins asked, "What do you want me to do with this," while being treated at the hospital. She allegedly gave the doctor a white trash bag with her baby inside.

The baby was pronounced dead at the hospital. Following an autopsy it was determined that the baby boy had air in his lungs and was alive when placed in the bag.

Hawkins has been charged with second degree murder and is currently being held at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail. According to those who know Hawkins, she is mentally ill and should not be held responsible for her actions.

"She has terrible mental issues," said a man who asked to not be identified. "She was like a 12-year-old with a 12-year-old mind," he said.

Hawkins was arrested over the summer for cocaine possession. The man who asked not to be identified said Hawkins had just gotten out of jail and was staying at the home on Merrimac Drive until she gave birth. Her next court appearance is scheduled for February 7.