Not saying much and showing very little emotion, a 16-year-old mom, accused of abandoning her newborn child in a garbage bin, appeared in juvenile court to hear her formal charges.
"I had to put some evidence that there was a continual risk for the child, that was testimony of the maintenance man and the investigator with the DA's office", says David Masquelette, county attorney assigned to this case.
The case worker assigned to the investigation revealed on Friday that hours before the baby was found in a trash bin, the teen mom gave birth to him in her bathroom, then cut the umbilical cord with some house scissors, placed the infant in a plastic bag with other trash and left him in the receptacle. Testimony in court adds that the mother then went to sleep, awoke the next day and attended school as if nothing happened.
"We do not want to see any more babies abandoned this way," says Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson. But incidents such as this one are not new to the Houston area.
Eight children were abandoned in 2013, according to Child Protective Services. In five of those cases the Baby Moses law was utilized.
"The problem is that they are not doing it the right way. They might leave it in a box close to the fire station or hospital. The important thing is to hand the baby over to personnel at the fire station, at an EMS or hospital, so they can get immediate attention," states Estella Olguin with CPS.
The family of the young mother avoided FOX 26 News cameras, but their lawyer told FOX 26 that they are seeking to gain full custody of their newest family member.
The District Attorney mentioned that because the girl is a minor, she could be sentenced to probation if convicted as a juvenile.
For some, it's a small punishment, for such a huge crime. But Anderson made it very clear what she wanted to happen.
"The DA's office will not be seeking probation for this case. We believe that if you abandon a baby this way, where you have no intent to return or you can harm him. We will be seeking incarceration."