Woman indicted on second-degree murder charge for death of infant child

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – Donita Hawkins has been indicted by a grand jury on a second-degree murder charge, which stems from the death of her infant child.

Donita M. Hawkins was charged with second degree murder

Hawkins’ jury trial date was also set Thursday for July 11-12, 2018 in Portsmouth Circuit Court.

Paramedics responded to a home on Merrimac Drive in Portsmouth on January 27, 2017 for a woman about to have a baby. At that time, Donita Hawkins was taken to the hospital. Once there, she revealed to doctors that she had delivered the baby, cut the umbilical cord and put the infant in a trash bag.

On Monday, March 26, the court learned the child was a baby boy and was born early in the morning on January 27. Paramedics were not called to the house until around 2 that afternoon. They testified not seeing the infant or the bag until both Hawkins and the concealed infant arrived at the hospital.

A doctor testified in court that the infant was dead upon arrival at the hospital and the medical examiner testified that during her autopsy she discovered the baby was full term when he was born and breathed on his own after birth. The cause of death, according to the medical examiner, was sharp force injury to the umbilical cord, cocaine exposure, neglect and infection to the placenta.

A detective also testified in court, saying Hawkins made a statement to him at the hospital as he was investigating the homicide. He told the court Hawkins had stated she had smoked crack cocaine and after giving birth, she was scared of the baby so she placed it on the bed and fell asleep.

In the early stages of the trial, the judge announced Hawkins was competent enough to stand trial.

News 3 spoke to the man who called 911 and he said he never knew she had the baby, though he did observe blood on her pants. He said he is father to four of Hawkins’ other kids and said he thinks her mental health was not sound when the incident occurred.

RELATED:

Portsmouth Police make arrest in baby death investigation

Court hearing held for woman charged with wrapping infant son in plastic bag, killing him