Mother innocent by reason of insanity in baby deaths - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Mother innocent by reason of insanity in baby deaths

CANTON, Ohio (AP) - A woman accused of killing her newborn twin sons is innocent by reason of insanity and will not stand trial, a judge ruled.

Stark County Common Pleas Judge John G. Haas ruled Wednesday after a psychiatric consultant testified that Felicia Jennings, 35, of Alliance, was insane at the time of the deaths last fall.

Haas said he was awaiting a doctor's recommendation on the least restrictive setting in which Jennings could be placed for treatment.

Prosecutors believe that Jennings (pictured, above) gave birth in her home last fall. When the babies died a few days later, she disposed of their bodies in the trash, they said.

Jennings, who is black, told police she gave birth to white babies with blue eyes. She also claimed a "crisis worker" she had called told her to put the babies out with the trash.

The corpses have not been found, but police believe the bodies are buried in a landfill in Tuscarawas County, 10 miles south of Canton.

Haas said the prosecution proved the elements of the crime to his satisfaction but he took into consideration expert opinion that Jennings was insane.

"She was not taking her medication at the time of the offense," he said. "It's always tough when you are dealing with mental illness and whether they were capable of doing that at the time."

Jennings previously was diagnosed with schizophrenia and had been receiving treatment and medication through Stark County agencies intermittently since 2000.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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